Babe Ruth had hit 714 home runs during his baseball career and was playing one of his last full major league games. It was the Braves versus the Reds in Cincinnati. But the great Ruth was no longer as agile as he had once been. He fumbled the ball and threw badly, and in one inning alone his errors were responsible for most of the five runs scored by Cincinnati. As the Babe walked off the field and headed toward the dugout, a crescendo of yelling and booing reached his ears. Just then, a boy jumped over the railing onto the playing field. With tears streaming down his face, he threw his arms around the legs of his hero. Ruth didn’t hesitate for one second. He picked up the boy, hugged him, and set him down on his feet, patting his head gently. Suddenly, there was no more booing. In fact, a hush fell over the entire park. In those brief moments, the fans saw two heroes: Ruth, who in spite of his dismal day on the field could still care about a little boy; and the small boy, who cared about the feelings of another human being. Both had melted the hearts of the crowd.
There is a quote I love that states, “Be kind to everyone because you never know what someone is going through.” Lord, if that isn’t the truth! Even Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1-2). I find it interesting here that the Lord first said not to judge and then immediately said what will happen when we do. You see, Jesus knows us. His saying not to do it should be enough, but it usually isn’t. We are human. We will and do judge others. This being so, when you judge, be kind!
In Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus continued, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Here, the Lord tells us that we must first take a look at ourselves. What are our sins? What are we doing wrong? If we judge ourselves first, it is much easier to be kind to others.
This brings me to another favorite quote from Mother Teresa: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”