When judging becomes part of our life style we are prone to just see the the outside part of the person. I focus only in their appearance or in the way they interact with me according to my own expectations. I start assuming about their life, just because I think I have the right to do so. It does not matter if the person is outgoing or not, I place a judgment on them without not even getting to know their gifts. The more I get to know a person the more I criticize their weaknesses and wounds and the less I think about their gifts; specially if that person has hurt or disappoint me.
How is that I am easily to criticize the wounds instead of digging deeper to discover their gifts? As soon as one person do not falls into my definition of “cool friend”, he/she looses the benefit of the doubt. The pouring out of Grace is taken away, and a wall of separation is built. Nouwen expressed this really well, “When we dismiss people out of hand because of their apparent woundedness, we stunt their lives by ignoring their gifts, which are often buried in their wounds.”
But then I realized that I am as wounded as anybody else, and because of that I can easily forget about my own gifts. In facebook a friend posted “Miguel–a gentle soul, a sincere seeker, a possessor of great intellect. “ I am sorry to accept it, but sometimes I can not even see this in myself. Then I realized that if I can not see the beauty of my own gifts on me, how am I going to be able to go beyond the wounds of others and value their gifts. Accepting others starts with accepting myself.
For the last 3 years I have been writing articles about my weaknesses because I have always believe that talking about my gifts will be too prideful. But I totally forgot what Henry Nouwen teaches in his book The Return of the Prodigal Son, where he asked me to eventually become the compassionate father, not only to others but to myself. So I am not only judging others but also myself.
“We all are bruised reeds, whether our bruises are visible or not. The compassionate life is the life in which we believe that strength is hidden in weakness and that true community is a fellowship of the weak.”(Nouwen)