Guilty or Not Guilty

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Recently I read an article about a young lady who’s two year old had apparently been abducted. To make a long story short she had become a suspect due to some of her answers not matching up. She went on Nancy Grace’s program on CNN and was grilled by the host. She did not answer the questions to the host satisfaction or anyone else’s for that matter. Maybe she was guilty or maybe she just was confused or did not handle being on television very well, no one really knows with certainty.

Just before the show came on the air this young lady took her own life. Her father was quoted as saying his daughter was not handling the pressure of all the reporters very well. I just thought to myself what a very sad story for all concerned.

If indeed this young lady had something to do with the disappearance of her child then we will really never know what happened. If she was innocent then what a horrible tragedy for the whole family, then what about the host of the program I wonder how she was doing. I only saw a quote from someone in her camp that did not sound real sympathetic.

Guilty or not, we will really never know. There are a dozen different angles we could go with this story but lets focus on the over zealous news reporter that hounded the young lady. Part of the quote I read said she was concerned with the little boy as indeed we all should be. But indeed there was another life at stake here, a young lady missing a little boy being at least in part accused of the disappearance. Imagine for one second what that would feel like especially if you were not guilty. We should be very careful in how and what makes us judge people.

We should be zealous for what is right for that there should be no question. But we should be very careful of how we judge because 90 percent of the time we do not know the whole story. I have learned this lesson the hard way over the last 30 years of my life.

This all reminds me of a somewhat less serious incident that occurred about twenty five years ago that has effected how I judge situations. My best friend and I were big baseball fans and my friend loved the Dodgers and hated the Astros. It just so happened that the Astros had a pitcher named J.R. Richard. He was very good, young and had a great future.

But at the beginning of one season he kept complaining to the team that he just was not feeling right. The team ran some test and found a blood clot that they did not seem to think was too serious at first with even the team doctor suggesting that Richard might have mental problems. With that knowledge under there belt many reporters and fans alike were accusing Richard of faking it. I remember my friend rode him hard calling him a dog often for not pitching.

We even went to one of the games and this was about half way through the season and the reporters and fans were really on Richard. I will never forget watching him walk around the Astrodome going through his workout wondering what was really wrong with him, while many including my buddy were riding him hard.

Just a few weeks after we went to the game came the disturbing report that Richard had suffered a serious stroke. He in some way had been feeling the onset of this stroke and no one had been able to detect it. While everyone was giving him a hard time and questioning his heart for the game he was dealing with the knowledge that something wasn’t right and no one understood or had compassion.

The stroke affected Richard for the rest of his life and effectively ended his career; he was never the same after that. Honestly I have not been either. Even though I was not one of the people riding him hard it taught me that you just never really know and to pretend otherwise is foolish. I am now quite sure and believe it is always better to give someone the benefit of the doubt and be wrong than to pass judgment too quickly on not enough facts.

No matter if we admit it or not we all in some way pass judgment about other people lives quite often. When the fact is that we are in no position to judge in the first place. That job is better left to God who knows all the facts and hearts of those involved. Why should we concern ourselves with something God is far better at than us?

Guilty or Not? God knows and He will make the eventually call, lets leave it up to him.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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