The thing with putting people on a pedestal is that you forget that they are human, or you choose to disregard that point. And I’m not sure what causes us to elevate people to this status when we know that we are all fallible, and yet I know that there are people in my life that I look up to, that I think aren’t possible of some of the things that they have done. I guess in some way that it think that the version that I see of them on the outside reflects what is going on in their lives internally.
I can’t remember how old I was, I just remember staring in shock at the television. right before dinner I had turned on the local news, and as usual they had a summary of some of the items that they would be covering on the news. When I saw his face and the cops arresting him, my mouth dropped open…tears started pouring down my face, and I called my mom urgently. It was devastating for our church. He went to jail to pay for what he had done, when he was released on day passes he attended church with a guard, and eventually he was restored to community. but for the longest time, after he returned I couldn’t look at him without remembering what he had done. how he had betrayed who we thought he was. and I realized that I had put a mere human on a pedestal that no one deserves to be put on. People will let us down. People have things going on in life that we can’t even begin to fathom until they are revealed or sometimes we never know.
Several months ago a friend shared with some information that I wasn’t supposed to be privy to. it was devastating. it was about someone who I had known for quite some time who had been asked to leave the church as a result of some of the choices he refused to acknowledge as ungodly and detrimental to his personal and familial health. My heart-felt like it was shattered. we had been in small group together. I had looked up to him, I had interacted with his kids.
It hasn’t been on my mind the past couple of weeks but today it was brought back in devastating clarity when it was announced on Facebook that he was now engaged to someone else formerly from our church. His family had been shattered into pieces, he had walked away from truth, and I realized that the person who he was now engaged to began to be missing from our church about the same time he was asked to leave. I don’t know anymore details…but my heart broke again and my first reaction was words that I didn’t want to have spread around Facebook….I reacted and in a vague way, but the tears began to course down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe it..and then I thought why not? he’s human. she’s human. they aren’t ever worthy of the pedestal I’d placed them on.
And as I drove to do some errands it kept resonating in my head, putting people on pedestals always results in a fall. it depends on how high the pedestal is, how big the fall will be, but really there isn’t ever a reason to put anyone on that pedestal. We never know what’s going on in other people’s lives. No one will be perfect. No one will ever live up to our expectations. I mean I don’t even live up to my desire for perfection or my expectations. But I have been reminded once again that anytime you put someone in a place they don’t believe, that you choose to believe they are above and beyond the faltering of this world…one day those things you thought will be proven false. and not always in devastating ways, but in ways that continue to remind that one never knows what is truly going on behind the face that people put forward every day. I have had many conversations through my life that have taught me that. that have shown me how much I’ve judged without even knowing, how I’ve made opinions and really had no idea. and yet i continue to do so. And I guess I’ve been reminded today. This world is fallen. This fallen-ness will always affect us until redemption is complete..and we are removed from this world, removed from this curse of sin.