I've been thinking about guilt a lot lately.
If you haven't figured it out yet, this is not a funny post. Beware ye, all who enter here.
When you feel guilt, you twist it around and shake it, drop it on it's hind end,
and it's still there.
You say, "It's not bad," or "It's their fault," or "It doesn't matter I should just forget it" ("IT" is involved a lot with guilt). But, it hangs around anyway.
This didn't start with my own guilt, actually, but thinking about other people's guilt.
On Saturday I took Amaya around and tried to make a whole girls hanging together (GHT) morning, and on the way to the North Shore to get acai bowls, we hit some traffic. In Hawaii stand still traffic means wave scoping, or accident, big accident. Traffic was moving through one lane only and took a while. When we got through I saw a car, a bike, and a bike kid trailer. Guess which ones were smashed up really badly.
Police were everywhere and areas roped off, and the woman in the car was sitting there, in her car.
My thoughts kind of bounced through hoping kids were not in the trailer (there were) and feeling terrible for all parties involved. Over the next couple of days I looked through the news articles about it on-line and found one article where people could comment on the story.
Really, why I was so focused on this one accident is the mysterious working of humanity. Tragedies can only be let in to weigh on the mind so much. There are so many things I think of that press my heart or sicken me and make me feel very helpless in regards to the wrongs in the world.
Before I read through the comments on the story I had been thinking about the woman who hit that mother and her two children and how completely awful (really, a word worse than awful, but what that word is, I don't know) she must be feeling about what she had done. And she will have to live with that for the rest of her life, even if all three of those people live.
The comments on the story were surprisingly hateful to the driver. Maybe I should have found it unsurprising. Everyone seemed to think this woman was a total idiot in expletives (maybe she was) and should be locked away forever.
I don't know. I had a hard time feeling that way. I don't think I can even imagine the guilt this woman must be feeling. She was probably putting on makeup, talking on her cell phone, eating, changing the radio dial or any number of things that complacent drivers tend to do. I myself have done all of those things while driving (except put on makeup since I don't wear it).
Certainly what is happening to that poor family is terrible. No one questions that. Still, it's hard for me to put an accident in the same category as someone who willfully harms another person.
The miscreant, sociopath, and/or criminal is less prone to guilt. Less likely to admit it. Less likely to even be caught, than the person who mistakenly harms another person and who must immediately deal with the consequences of their actions.
This whole train of thought made me consider the guilt I feel and have felt. It's a hard thing to shake. I don't really buy into the idea that guilt is only associated with sin or even when it is because of sin that it leaves completely when you are forgiven. He probably tells us to forgive one another because He knows that we have to deal with each other and ourselves in the more immediate sense. The idea of forgiveness is even more important for us with this world.
I think God is more forgiving than mortals.