Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Judgement

"And it really doesn't matter
"If I'm wrong I'm right
"Where I belong"

-Paul McCartney, 'Fixing A Hole"

I was out walking my favorite secret trail overlooking the luxurious river houses from bluffs on high. Actually, it's not really a trail, I just found a way to the cliff's edge through sheer determination. While the physical barrier to this spot is not that difficult, the psychological one is: most people won't travel without a previous path to lead them. Suckers.

So I was a tad confused when I heard what were scuffling noises coming from down below. And what do i find there but a man clinging to a ledge down below. He was too far away for me to help by merely reaching out. I called out to him.

"Hey, hold on down there! I'll find a way to get you back up!"

"Trust me, I have no plans of letting go! I'm OK for the moment but I can't hold on forever."

"I'll go get some help then!"

"I don't have that much time. It's solely up to you."

"I understand. Just how did you get stuck down there anyway?"

"I was climbing down and a giant rock gave way."

"What the hell you climbing down the cliff for?" I was a bit annoyed he'd endangered his life like that - and now interrupted mine with his irresponsibility.

"I wanted to sneak up on my ex-wife and her new lover. They live at the bottom down by the river. Only way in is from the back."

"Dude! That's some wild shit! What you gonna do when get down there anyway?"

"Kill them! My Glock is loaded and ready!"

At first I thought he was joking but then I saw the look in his eyes. I saw the unbearable pain crying out for relief, hell-bent on murder. He was an unstoppable freight train not to be denied. I reflexively blurted out my first thought.

"Maybe I shouldn't let you up then..."

"You mean you're going to pass judgement on me?"

"More like avoiding Accessory To Murder. I'm picky like that."

"What if I were to tell you this pernicious pair tried to have me killed? That I have to die in order for them to collect my money? That if I don't kill them they'll kill me!"

"I'd have to say you people sound like a murderous lot."

"Well, pull me up before it's too late! Letting me die makes you no better than I!"

"You've really put me in a spot here. I don't know what the truth is!"

"Of course you know the truth! I ask you: what is your true, natural human desire in this situation?"

"My true desire is to pull you up right away no questions asked."

"Exactly! Don't fight it!"

"OK, but a thought has occurred to me. Now that I know your plans you might just kill me."

"Well, duh! I don't want to go to jail. This is just bad luck for you but I can't let that get in the way of my living. Or have you judged I do not have the right to live?"

"I have judged I have the right to live."

"At my expense? Who are to judge anyone? Who are you to deny help? No one knows the absolute truth. Who knows? I may repent my ways from your unselfish act of kindness of bringing me back up at the risk of your own life. The Bible says he who loves his life shall lose it. Truly, witnessing such a deed one rediscovers the joy of life."

"But I need to know what's true to know how to act!"

"All truth is subjective! You think the universe cares what you believe?"

"But what I believe determines if you live or die. If there is no absolute truth then it does not matter what I do. Why should I take any chances? It's safest for me if I just let you die."

"That's not a winning bet to say you have no conscience or soul to answer to. You would live in misery the rest of your days if you leave me to die."

"Then you're saying there is objective truth. That I have a soul whether I believe it or not. That if I live falsely I will suffer and that if I live honestly I'll know happiness."

"What kind of fool argues the truth? Is it not the same regardless of our words? I am not your savior! Heed not what I say! But know this: whether you help me or not, you will have to live with your decision. Choose wrongly and you will suffer!"

"Or I could just believe no decision will make me suffer. If God wants you to live He'll do something about it."

"He did! He sent you!"

I have to admit it's really hard to turn down the idea I'm an instrument of God. Need I only believe it for it to be true? Or does believing it merely get me a bullet in the gut? But is it not true that I know what I know? I know there's such a thing as right and wrong. And I know I must honor that in order to survive. Therefore, I decided to-

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