“So what time did you arrive and did anyone else enter the building with you?”
“Did you see or hear anything suspicious?”
“How did that individual in your class appear throughout the day?”
“Were they agitated or affected in anyway?” “Have you got anything else to add?”
If it sounds like an interrogation; that is precisely what it was. I was not the suspect but I was involved as a potential witness.
I had opened the large office building where I was teaching and I had let a couple of students into the lift and headed upstairs. The students got off to ‘get a coffee’ on the ground floor. During the next 30 minutes it appears that the coffee shop on the ground floor was robbed – concealed money was taken along with a tip jar and a few odds and ends.
I found out the next day and was asked to give a statement about what I saw and what I knew.
In real terms I didn’t know that much and I certainly didn’t see that much.
I may have jumped to a personal conclusion but that is not particularly helpful because it might be completely wrong. I also struggle to believe that what appears as a possibility, is what really happened. I lack proof and so did the police.
The experts had a look at the scene, they took photos and notes but there was little or nothing else to work with – it becomes an insurance matter and probably nothing more.
There are some things which can be proven by empirical evidence, there are other things which can be corroborated by witnesses, there are still other facts that can be established by overwhelming circumstantial proofs but in this particular case there was not enough to go on.
In our lives we work with a mix of facts, thoughts, feelings and imperfect judgements. We need to be very careful that we do not jump to conclusions and that we do not judge people unfairly. Jesus challenged us about this…
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:1–2
We need to be careful that we spend more time looking inside ourselves than we spend outside judging the actions and attitudes of others – the truth is, we very rarely know the full story.
We would hate to be the one wrongly accused!