His admission set off a flurry of memes making fun of Williams by placing him at all sorts of historic events.
I chuckled at many of them because they were just so absurd. I giggled along with lots of folks who took delight in poking fun at someone caught in a lie. I didn’t make any comments or “like” any of the posts railing against Williams, but my silence probably said enough.
The fact the negativity spiraled so quickly and the public backlash was so immediate didn’t surprise me much nor did Williams’ subsequent leave of absence. After all, when we have someone who messes up so publicly as Williams did, we get a break from having to deal with our own failings and faults. For the length of time our attention is turned toward the fallen figure, we are off the hook and out of the spotlight. Our transgressions are momentarily forgotten and so we delight when someone like Brian Williams is called to answer for his/her mistakes.
Now, Bill O’Reilly is currently getting some heat for similar allegations. Lucky for us, there’s always someone to point the finger at and call out to be punished.
Maybe it’s always been this way, sneering at those forced to admit some wrongdoing openly. It was certainly a reality known to Jesus.
Do you recall, the story of the women caught in adultery?
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” – John 8:2-11
I’m not excusing anyone’s poor choices or bad behavior, but I wonder what this world might look like if we remembered we all make mistakes?
Would we be less likely to hurt, to judge, to call for the heads of our enemies, if we remember or own sins?
What if we remember the “measure we give is the measure we receive”? What if we remember we are forgiven and called to forgive? What if our memories were as good at remembering the good people do as it is at remembering and reminding them of the bad?
What if we remember Christ. What if we re-member Jesus who was broken for us? Could we re-member Christ by acting out of love instead of hate? Could we re-member Jesus by sharing light instead of darkness? Could we re-member Christ by putting down the stones we want to hurl for no other reason than to make ourselves feel less broken?
We all make mistakes. We could choose to offer grace. That’s something to remember the next time we notice the mistakes of another.
Life is better together,
Check out what a few of my friends taking this journey with me think of this word…