Their own sins

           In those days they shall no longer say:
                      “The parents have eaten sour grapes,
                                 and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”
           But all shall die for their own sins.

                           —Jeremiah 31.29-30

This was a step forward, that kids not be punished
for their parents’ sins.
But sometimes parents eat sour grapes
and it’s the kids who wince.
We all live with trauma inflicted on us as children,
some very slight, and some profound.
The parents sinned, and the kids suffered.
(If anything the cross reminds us
that the innocent suffer from other people’s sins.)
Remember this when you judge,
when you deal with people who hurt others,
those who seem to have no excuse to be so cruel.
They may be carrying around deep wounds
inflicted on them when they were small and powerless,
and none of the power they have now
is power over those wounds.
They may need reprimanding; they may need a short leash.
But they surely need healing.
We all do.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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