Entertainer Ruby Gettinger posted the following story recently.
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they were eating their breakfast, the young wife notices her neighbor hanging her wash out to dry. “That laundry is not very clean. She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs new laundry soap.”
Her husband observes but says nothing. Every time her neighbor hangs her wash out to dry, the woman makes the same comments. A month later, the woman sees a nice clean wash on the line and says to her husband, “She’s finally learned how to wash her clothes properly. I wonder who taught her this?”
Her husband replies, “I got up early this morning and washed our windows.” And so it is with life. What we see while watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.
This simple story reminds me of the lesson Jesus taught about removing the log from your own eye before dealing with the speck in your neighbor’s eye. Matthew 7:5 My father was a great teacher. Like the husband in this story, his actions taught more than by his words. He’d show me something once then walk away. I’d protest loudly to no avail. Then I settle down to figure out how to do it, knowing it could be done, and leaned into his belief that I was more than capable.
Wether it’s Muslims, gays, fourteen Presidential candidates, or Confederate flag wavers that get us flapping our tongues, we all have a few windows to wash of our own before we speak too many words about neighbors. I was taught years ago that when I point a finger at someone, three others are pointing back at me.