February 18, 2015

Judging Others

Bill Crawford was a janitor for the U.S. Air Force Academy back in the late 1970s. His job was to empty the trash, buff the floors, clean the toilets and keep the building tidy for the cadets who lived in his dorm.

Bill was a shy man and he did his job well, so most of the time he just blended into the woodwork. In a military school where officers with silver or gold on their lapels were a common sight, you might say Bill Crawford was “just a janitor.”

All that changed one day when a cadet, reading a book about the Allied campaign in Italy during World War II, learned that as a result of his “conspicuous gallantry” ... “above and beyond the call of duty,” Pvt. William “Bill” Crawford had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The fact is the old man, who labored in a young person’s world of future warriors, was not only a courageous patriot but a national hero as well.

Despite Jesus’ commandment to love others as he loved us, we regularly make critical judgments of others based on their appearance, vocation, ethnicity, sexual preference, or other personal characteristics.

Yet Jesus demonstrated the scope of his love in events or parables when he chose to associate with those we might judge to be “only fishermen” or “only janitors.” May we always look at others in a spirit of love as Jesus commanded. 

Originally published February 1, 2012