There were multiple seriously injured people. It was the worst motor vehicle accident I had ever seen come through the Emergency Room. Standing on the outskirts of the commotion, I could often learn a lot. On this night, a family of 5 was passing through the state in route to a residency interview. Both adults were instantly killed, and each of their three children came through the Emergency Room. There was a four year old with multiple injuries, though not serious. A three year old that was pronounced brain dead and became an organ donor. There was a tiny 18 month old who was a CPR in progress when she arrived but her injuries were too severe and she died.
A truck driver was also very seriously injured, but his injuries were not life threatening. A man in his early 20's was the last to arrive. He was disoriented and combative. He needed surgery for internal bleeding. I could sense the tension in the Emergency Room. The staff, understandably, was dealing with a great deal of emotion especially considering that there were children involved, but this was different. They began to be short with this man which was not characteristic of their usual professionalism. I soon learned that he was the driver of the car that caused the accident and his breath smelled of alcohol, and this fact combined with his combativeness and disorientation caused everyone to assume that he was a drunk driver.
The next morning, I read the patient chart. He was a newly diagnosed diabetic who had suffered a diabetic shock (ketoacidosis) while driving. He was a newlywed with a beautiful wife. He was a nice young man who had the misfortune of having a medical emergency while driving and as a result, his life would never be the same.
How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
At times, I clearly have a plank in my eye. I have been guilty of jumping to conclusions with those I love as well as those I don't know.
Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you don’t have time to love them.” Isn't that the truth? It's time wasted. After all, it is the ultimate commandment to love others.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
Jesus help me to open my heart to the people I come across and the experiences I am given. Help me to love first and to not form opinions and judgments. Help me to concentrate on removing the plank from my own eye before I ever begin to point out the speck in the eye of someone else. Help me to practice love and acceptance with those closest to me first whom I tend to most harshly judge.