The Make-Up Comes Off

God said:

When someone is an actor on stage, whatever role he plays, you do not hold it against him. He can play the world’s most terrible villain, yet when the play is over, out of costume, he returns to being a lovable Joe, and you rejoice in him. He was on stage a little while, playing a cumbersome little-liked role. It was only a part he played for a while. He auditioned, and he got the role. A role does not last forever. Every choice has an end. A role played is never permanent. It can’t be, for plays come to an end.

The make-up comes off. No matter what dire part someone played, it was a temporary role. A villain this time can play hero next. A role is not fixed. An actor is apart from the role he plays.

You can boo the villain and cheer the hero, and yet all the hoopla will fade. At the last curtain call, good guys and bad guys appear together, and all are cheered equally. All played their parts and played them well, and now the play is over, and everyone goes home.

The actors’ salaries are not dependent upon the role they play. Heroes may not get paid more than villains. The conduct of their role is not the basis upon which they are paid. And now We leave the short-term stage play and look at the world of men as they enact themselves in the world itself.

Because judgment exists in the world, there is the idea that villains must be punished, and the punishment terrible and long-lasting. You would discriminate against those who commit ill actions and smile at those who do good deeds. You do discriminate. You want this discrimination. It feels only right to you. It is only fair, you feel. You feel it would be unfair for someone to get away with something and never be pointed at and condemned. You do hold against him the role he played for a short time on the stage of life.

Beloveds, if judge you must, you cannot judge fairly because you do not know enough. Scores do not have to be evened. Because of the misguided idea that scores must come out even, resentment, revenge, envy, control etc. enter in. You may even be hung up on punishment and reward, and you scavenge for them. You bang a gavel in your mind quite a lot of the time. It could even be said that sometimes you are judging every minute.

Bear in mind that judging life is not the same as living life. Appraising life is not the same as living it. Judgment is opposed to innocence, beloveds. And judgment is opposed to joy. However you judge, with yourself high and another low, or you low and another high, there is not joy. There may be satisfaction or smugness for a moment, but joy? Not really.

You may come to the point where you say that people do get away with egregious behavior in the world, and you sigh and say, “But wait, they won’t get away with it forever. Torture and punishment will be meted out to them. Soon or late, they will get theirs. God will see to it. God will give them their just desserts. God will take care of them.”

Beloveds, I will take care of them but not the way you mean. I will not shunt them aside. I will not welcome them differently from you. You may not like that at all. Yet when you come to Heaven, you won’t mind. You won’t mind at all that everyone arrives in Heaven unscathed. You won’t even give it a thought. When joyousness abounds, who cares about the past?