May 20, 2009 People see what we do; God sees why. That's the essence of the message on West Goodland's sign—the one I pass at least twice a day—once when I leave for work and again when I turn back down my road. That means I've probably read it about 60 times.
The quote has begun to take on a life of its own. First, it reminds me that, for better or worse, others see what I do. It also reminds me that they don't necessarily know what propels my actions. They don't know the desires of my heart.
It also reminds me that I don't know what compels someone else—whether he's working from security or for security—whether he's aiming to please someone else or out of gratitude. Sometimes things aren't as black and white as we think. Sometimes it's just that people see from different perspectives. Sometimes people are emotional prisoners, throttled by bitterness. Sometimes they might be held captive in the virus of ungrace—unable, on their own, to break the chains that enslave generations—feeling safer in the security of ungrace than in taking the risk of grace.
Someone may seem the symbol of security while they hide behind the mask of being all put together, going through the motions so well that no one knows. In the process, sometimes they become almost emotionless inside.
Anyway, I've come to see how complicated things are—how wrong it is for me to even try to sit in judgment on another because of actions I can't begin to decipher. And that begins to sound something like grace—a leaving of judgment and vengeance to Someone Else.