In the last twenty four hours I have heard stories about junkies, whores, adulterers, men who hit women, and people who steal. Maybe the guy who wrote the Ten Commandments knew what he was talking about. Sin, if you want to call it sin, can lead to a screwed-up life, and not just a little screwed up, but Jerry Springer-type screwed-up. Or as the French would say "Springer-esque!" I am a live-and-let-live person and I don't often pass judgment on people. I think that people who have been intimate with sin have empathy for sinners. And if you think it's crazy to have empathy with a sinner just remember it's what Jesus would have done. But then again, according to Glenn Beck, Jesus was a commie-pinko-socialist-progressive (another blog post for another day).
I was watching a documentary about Johnny Cash this week called Johnny Cash's America. Johnny Cash did alot of shit in his life; he had a dark side and a light side and they were both right there to see. He didn't hide anything. The filmmaker mentioned that Johnny Cash played the prison circuit because he could identify with the inmates. Johnny had sinned, had known sin intimately, and with that sin came a lack of judgment regarding other sinners. It was a blank spot in his make-up, like a limb that didn't work anymore, or a dead nerve that didn't respond. Judgmental people like to judge using their own pristine lives as the yardstick. Johnny Cash didn't. He had an ability to walk in the shoes of others.
But Johnny also abandoned his sinful ways. He broke his drug addiction and married June Carter whom, I think it is safe to say, he never cheated on. Johnny Cash's sins led him to a cave of despair, literally. He walked into Nickajack Cave near Chattanooga, Tennessee, with no intention of ever walking out. The cave had taken the lives of others who had gotten lost in its twists and turns. What could be worse than laying down in a cave to die? Thirty days in jail? Twenty years in jail? Every sin contains its own solution as sure as smoking causes cancer. Adultery will break up your family. Lying erodes trust, even in people who love the liar. Like Johnny Cash's light side and dark side, sin is right there for everyone to see, no matter how hard the sinner tries to hide it. Johnny Cash walked out of that cave and, literally, into the life and light of the day. What a blissful feeling that must have been.