The Way of Love for the Lord
Chapter 46. Are you trying to pull out little weeds in others’ yards, while neglecting the thick weeds covering your own yard?" (Auguat 12, 1982)
Mr. Paul Lee, chair of the Naju parish’s pastoral committee, came to my beauty parlor and was chatting with my husband in the living room in the back of the beauty parlor. I could tell from his raised voice that Mr. Lee was excited about something. Suddenly, he shouted, "He is a real scoundrel!" I was startled to hear this while doing a customer’s hair and rushed to the living room to find out what was going on.
According to Mr. Lee, the husband of Ursula, a parishioner, had been unfaithful to her and, one day, even brought a girlfriend to their home. Then, shamelessly, he let her sleep on his left side, letting her lay her head on his left arm, while his wife was lying on his right side. Mr. Lee was indignant.
After hearing his story, I asked, "Mr. Lee, don’t you think there might be some reason why he was behaving in such a presumptuous way?" Mr. Lee answered, "Whatever reason he may have, this can only be done by an animal, not by a human being!" I asked again, "Mr. Lee, have you been to Ursula’s home?" He said he had not. I asked, "Then, have you ever met her husband?" Mr. Lee said he had never met him. I said, "Mr. Lee, excuse me for saying this, but especially we, who are entrusted with the work of making the Lord known, should be more careful about judging and criticizing anyone after hearing only one side of the story." Mr. Lee said, "Julia, what you are saying may be right."
The next morning, Mr. Lee and I went to Ursula’s house. Even though I talked big to Mr. Lee on the previous day, I really did not know whether Ursula’s husband was truly such a bad man or not. I wanted to confirm the reality. Ursula is one year younger than I, but started her service in the parish one year earlier than I. She occasionally gave her testimony in the group meetings, talking about her husband. Everyone criticized her husband.
When we finally found Ursula’s house and entered, she was not there. When we entered her bedroom, there still were messy sheets and blankets and an un-emptied night stool. The children’s room was in the same condition. In the kitchen, unwashed dishes were still piled up in the sink. The house was not cleaned at all. After seeing all these, I asked Mr. Lee, "Do you still say that her husband alone was to be blamed?" Mr. Lee said, "No, I did not know they were living like this."We waited for Ursula to come home for hours. She came back in the late afternoon and was startled to see us.
When Mr. Lee asked, "Where have you been, coming home so late?" Ursula answered, "I have been doing the service work for other people." She had an expression on her face of questioning why he was asking such an obvious question. As Mr. Lee was not speaking any further, I intervened, "Sister Ursula, it is good to go out and help others, but wouldn’t it be better to take care of your own house first and, then, help others?" She answered with a dignified attitude, "People like it a lot when I help them."
I said, "Yes, I am sure they like it a lot when you help them. Today I made the following reflection. If we try to pull out little weeds in other people’s yards, neglecting to pull out the overgrown weeds in our own yard, don’t you think the priorities are somewhat mixed up? If we neglect to attend to our own yards covered with thick weeds while busying ourselves with pulling out little weeds in other’s yards, the weeds in our own yards can keep growing until we cannot do anything about them. Sister, please forgive me if I am overstepping."
As Ursula continued on, this time complaining about her husband, I said, "Sister, please make more efforts to blame yourself instead of blaming others for any trouble. Please think about what your husband likes and how you can make your husband happy, and, this way, take good care of your family. Make your house clean and tidy so that your husband may feel comfortable at whichever hour of the day he comes home.
If you consider your husband important and precious, he can become a new man." I gave her many other good examples. Then, Mr. Lee and I held her hands and prayed together. Mr. Lee prayed, "Lord, I am so ashamed. I have thought of Julia only as a child. Thank You so much for allowing me to learn a lot through Julia. Please forgive me for having rashly judged and criticized others with my prejudice. And take charge of this family and turn it into a holy family . . . "
Deeply lamenting over the deep-rooted evil habits of neglecting even their basic duties in the family as wife and mother and living in apathy, and, thus, driving their families into ruin, I prayed fervently that the Lord would grant sanctification and unity to all the families in the world. At that moment, the Lord said,
"My little soul! I entrust his poor soul to you."
Julia carried the Cross in her Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Isreal.