Wrongly Accused…

“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!

The way of life winds upwards

It has been a dramatic four weeks and she is very happy to be finally heading home. My mother went to hospital to follow up on some tests and it became very apparent, very quickly that she was going to need immediate, significant, surgery. She underwent a quadruple bypass operation and she has been recovering ever since.

The operation went forward without incident, it was very successful and we again are thankful for the skill of the doctors and nurses and for the quality of care that is available in our nation.

I visited my mum each day and, along with everyone else, I was greatly concerned as she initially came through the operation. People look so vulnerable in ICU and time seems to pass so slowly. But the next morning I found mum sitting up in bed and changing channels on the TV! Every day from there she showed improvements – it was not without its pain and challenge but each day she grew stronger. She was able to stand, to walk, her ‘foggyness’ departed and she slowly returned to her old self. She undertook rehab and it seems that she will be even better than she was before… it is a great and pleasing outcome.

Not everything in our life automatically and consistently improves, we have times that can be difficult and our circumstances can spiral out of control.  It is at these times we must careful not to give into despair and we must hold onto hope. The book of Proverbs tells us “The way of life winds upward for the wise, so that they may turn away from hell below.” (15:24)

It promises that if we are wise then our lives will ‘wind upwards’ – that doesn’t mean that our lives will be perfect and without challenge but it promises hope that better things are ahead.

The fact is that ‘this life’ is not just about ‘this life’.  Our time on earth is limited, flawed and filled with both good and bad…our response to this life, our response to each other and our response to Christ determine our eternity.

Your life may currently be on the ‘up and up’ or it might be spiralling downhill and out of control, or it may be somewhere in the middle….but wherever you find yourself, I hope that you are making a ‘wise’ response, because then your road will wind upwards. Yet another proverb caps it off… (9:10) “The fear and knowledge of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”

Maybe He is the wisdom you really need?