Are you judging or loving?

May 28, 2020 | 43 comments

A reader sent me a poem she wrote that spoke to my heart. It refers to the story of Jesus Christ forgiving an adulterous woman whom her accusers wanted to stone to death (John 8:4-11). Jesus did not stone her. He loved her and reformed her.

Are you a lover or a stoner?


He knelt and wrote in the sand.
Too busy watching him,
I did not see the others leave.

I was the only one left standing,
casting mental stones…too many….
my posture, less than humble.

He knelt to pray while I threw
stones at politicians, governments,
others and ours, even at church policies.

The list goes on.

Everyone could see my self-righteousness,
casting a shadow over the one praying.
I was adulterating God’s allness,

my cast stones, stepping-stones
away from Him. Tired of my stance
I knelt with him and prayed.

From the kneeling position
I saw God more clearly
and saw us both as His.

Melissa Baker

43 thoughts on “Are you judging or loving?”

  1. Thanks Evan and Melissa for the reminder to not be a self-righteous stoner lately when my heart is filled with anger toward politicians and policies instead of trusting in a Loving God who knows all and watches over us all. It is only there where my peace and safety abide.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful!

    “From the kneeling position I saw God more clearly and saw us both as His.”

    Going down in humility. Rising up in Love.

    Thank you very much for writing this poem, Melissa, and Evan, for sharing it.

  3. Thank you Melissa and Evan, this is just what I needed. I was praying for God to fill my thoughts with Love because at that moment I was only feeling resentful, judgemental and hurt then this popped up on my phone. I was praying with Mrs Eddy’s quote “ Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” God met my need with this poem . Thanks again

  4. Thank you Melissa for your wonderful portrayal … this cuts thru the “mortal man a liar” syndrome like a hot knife thru butter! We are all being tempted to join the crowd and cast stones at our elected officials and others visually prominent. Such a virus. Thankfully the material video of imagination that the mortal mentality dreams up is an illusion, a lie “about” Spirit and the Mind that is Love, the Principle that governs Life. May we be humble enough to bend our knees and lift up our eyes to behold the fruit that is only visible from humility’s angle.

  5. What a wonderful, moving, and humbling poem. Thank you SO much Melissa , and Evan for forwarding it. Love to you both for that lovely gift.

  6. Thank you Melissa for your thought inspiring poem and Evan for sharing it. This is just what I needed today.

  7. A beautiful and powerful poem. Thank you Melissa. Very helpful in so many ways. Humility replacing self -righteous. Thank you Evan for sharing this with us.

  8. Thank you for sharing this Evan. It occurred to me how lovely it is to read a modern day prose of a well known and loved bible story. It helps to make us re think this beautiful message, especially present day when it’s so easy to find something to criticise. Bravo Melissa. Wonderful!❣️

  9. I love the line,
    “From the kneeling position
    I saw God more clearly
    and saw us both as His.

    We are All in All.
    Thank you Evan for sharing and thank you Melissa for writing it!

  10. That’s awesome, thank you, Evan and Melissa! I can unfortunately relate to the message here, as mentally we seem to cast the wrong thought-stones sometimes without even realizing it. This is a daily work in progress for me, and, gratefully, I am seeing Spiritual advancement,
    Happy trails!

  11. Seems to me that casting stones mentally, hurt me more than they can hurt the “target”. Thoughts, harsh thoughts, can be hurtful to those casting them, cause the target never receives them, those stones being mental. Yikes what an opportunity for humility, LOVE, on bended knee.
    Very grateful to land on this guidance (poem) today!

    1. Precisely the point! What are you and I choosing to see ‘out there’? (When there is no ‘out there’, but only ‘ in here’, the consciousness of Love, NOW where God and His idea are perfect and eternal.

  12. It is that one single purpose statement that causes mortal man to see himself as he portrays at the time which challenges us to look within to the reality of our being. Powerful poem, thank you Melissa and Evan for causing us to look within our heart today.

  13. Melissa’s poem leaves another question: or are you the adulterous woman? So much to ponder.

    Two thought provoking books come to mind while reading this poem that share many of the same sentiments.

    THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON – A Story of Homecoming by Henri J.M. Nouwen, where the author deeply reflects Rembrant’s painting, which on the cover of the book shows the prodigal son humbly kneeling embracing his blind father, while the elder son looks down on his brother with disgust. It is time that I reread the life lessons this book offers, grateful for the reminder of how often the subtle yet blatant self-righteous thought emerges within and without.

    WHAT’S SO AMAZING ABOUT GRACE? by Philip Yancy, should be a must read for every Christian. It starts and startles the reader of a prostitute who has crudely allowed her baby for sex in exchange for drugs. When the prostitute is asked WHY and HOW could she stoop that low instead of going to the church and asking for help, her response is: Why would I go to a church? Those are the most self-righteous people there are.

    ( flashback) Though I had applied for membership of The Mother Church, it had not been an entire year yet. And that was the requirement for membership; and, then to attend Annual meeting. Being an usher, I could attend!! (I remember taking Ginger Roger’s ticket)

    On the stage was a panel, one being an African-American. She was often asked how she could work in a hospital and be a Christian Scientist. Her reply was: Don’t try so hard to be a Scientist, that you forget to be a Christian. ———- This dear woman was the first person and the last person people met while entering the hospital. She shared how she gave them hope.

    Those were the wisest words spoken to a brand new student of Christian Science that I still cherish and hope to always carry in my heart. Oh how our branch churches would be over- flowing if we lived as Mary of Magdala instead of the coldness of the Pharisees.

    Thank you Evan, and all, for sharing your demonstrations of this precious Science.

    1. Great comments Jo. Was recently involved in a discussion on opening church in which one member was very critical of protective accommodations and staying closed, insisting that we open immediately and without following any of the current human recommendations. It’s sad to see such judgment that is hardly welcoming to those who may not yet have reached “the heights of Christian Science” and would feel more comfortable in our churches if social distancing and protective measures were visible. A cold “absolute truth” response often is not what most lovingly meets the human needs of all. Too often I hear stories about how cold and unwelcoming some branch churches seem to be, both to strangers and sometimes even their own members and regular attendees of whom they may be critical.
      “… The tender word and Christian encouragement of an invalid, pitiful patience with his fears and the removal of them, are better than hecatombs of gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are but so many parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love.”
      (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 366:24; 367:3)

      1. Indeed, that quote by Mary B. Eddy is so appropriate and would be felt in the communities, a beacon of Love and compassion, giving a cup of cold water in Christ’s name, and never fearing the circumstances. Thank you for sharing.!!
        Two days ago, Father Joe’s charities came to pick up my car, as a donation, that when sold, the money would bless many homelesss. I sobbed for 1 hour, then stopped. I remembered the verse from Matt. 9:17 that I had been wanting to live (starting in Jan.) because I am ready for the new wine and must provide new bottle (open and receptive) thoughts. Shepherd, wash me clean. “Bless and Release”.( one daughter shared with me.)

  14. This who-are-we-to-judge poem is so humble, but yet magnificent.
    Thank you so much for this perspective, Melissa and to Evan for sharing.

  15. Such a sweet, timely reminder. Blends well with articles in June 1st CSS addressing righteous indignation and self righteousness. Our persistent diligence is so needed in today’s picture of divisive reaction.

  16. Such a beautiful and humbling and insightful poem. Hope she will send it in to CSPS to be published.

  17. More than a thank you for this Melissa. Reminds me of the song sung from Jackie DeShannon from the 60’s.
    What the world needs now is Love sweet love, it’s the Only thing theres just too little of.

    1. Yes, Susan, this book has many blessings. Some years ago a fellow church member told me that she and her husband were returning home on Highway 5 in Southern California where traffic was bumper-to-bumper when suddenly a truck cut in front of their car. She was upset, mad, etc. and then her husband said “Bless him.” Immediately, all distress left her and she felt love for all. She told me about this book. I purchased it from Amazon ($10) and since have bought many copies and given them to friends, when God directs. Blessings to all.

  18. The hardest part for me is to remember: We are “both His”
    Thank you Evan for Melissa’s poem about always “kneeling”
    before we pray. A needed vantage point. I especially forget
    when it comes to politics that God is all-knowing, not me!

  19. Thanks Melissa for such a beautiful and thoughtful poem. It ties in somewhat with something I’ve been praying with through out each day, “Gratitude is riches, Complaint is Poverty” – striving to see the good in ALL!

  20. “my cast stones, stepping-stones
    away from Him. Tired of my stance
    I knelt with him and prayed.”
    Nuf said
    Lovely, good,hard lesson in this poem.
    Thank you for sharing, Melissa

  21. Criticizing, judging, condemning, are throwing stones.
    My late brother Tom always said of those impoverished, unwise, or ill,
    “For the grace of God there go I”.
    Our tenets adhered to give us guardianship over allowing judgmental stones to enter into our thought.
    The poem greatly lets you feel the release of the burden of standing as judge over other’s.
    As God is the only authority and His government should be at the forefront, compassion takes the place of judgmental opinions or willful declarations.
    Kneeling at the door of thought and listening for His Christ to visit and heal is always best.
    I did at the suggestion on SpiritView get the book of Edward Kimball. It’s an example of someone’s adhering to the absolute truth of the Allness of God.
    Thank you for the poem, Melissa and for sharing it, Evan. A great example of tender loving care and forgiveness. Humility, for who is without sin? “Those who stand in robes of white who out of tribulation came. With crowns of joy upon their heads they praise His Holy Name.”

  22. Thank you! What a wonderful “shake-up.” I am printing it for the Reading Room! We were allowed to open a few weeks ago, being listed on the NJ State Website list of “Essential Retail Businesses” as “Stores which principally sell items necessary for religious observation or worship.”

  23. Thank you all so much for your heartfelt responses to this beautiful poem and its timeless message! This morning I found myself praying to be cleansed of self-ishness, and remembered these words of Mary Baker Eddy, “Be of good cheer; the warfare with one’s self is grand; it gives one plenty of employment, and the divine Principle worketh with you, — and obedience crowns persistent effort with everlasting victory.” (Miscellaneous Writings p. 118:24–28)
    How grateful I am that our Father-Mother Love is patient, compassionate, and merciful! And that Christian Science has shown us how to live as God’s likeness, loved, loving, lovable.

  24. This whole blog is full of inspiration, Love, and spiritual growth! Thank you Evan, Melissa and all commenters- your additions expanded, supported and led the blessings of the poem higher, further, and unselfishly higher.

    With love and gratitude❤️

  25. I also feel this as an inspirational blog, full of love and gratitude. Not only Evan`s SpiritView is a healing treatment, I almost learn a lot from all the different and interesting comments.
    Today while I watched the news on TV I was about to critizise a speeker, but then I reminded today`s spiritual view, not to throw mental stones on others. I turned my thoughts to God`s angel thoughts and thus saw the TV commentator and his speech in a more kind light.
    Thank you dear Evan, for always leading our thinking on a better way, a way to healing and comfort!

  26. I didn’t have the opportunity to read this yesterday. I can’t remember where I read the following, Mrs Eddy was well versed on daily events. It is important to be aware of current events. One must put them in their proper place and understand that mortal mind is at work. It is then our job to immediately understand the nothingness of these events and realize that our safety, and protection come from God and do not exist in His kingdom. Thank you Melissa for your poem and Evan for sharing it. Reading this immediately reminded me that we must daily watch our thoughts, and realize Truth and God’s laws are continually operating and protecting all of us.

  27. So very lovely, and yes, powerful. SO many helpful comments. Love, not judge. But be aware of wrongs & act responsibly.

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