Tarot cards are sometimes part of my morning devotions. They aren’t future-telling devices, at least not for me. Over many years, I’ve found they help me clarify issues and events. They provide an objective perspective and point out things I may have missed – my own private counsel.
Lately, I’ve been drawing the Judgment card. Every time it comes up, my shoulders scrunch and I have the urge to hide in a corner, because to me, judgment sounds a lot like tried, convicted and hung. I decided to do a little research.
Since I follow the Christ, I looked to church teaching for insight. I didn’t have to dig very far. Every Sunday we recite the Nicene creed, which states that Jesus will return to ‘judge the living and the dead’. What do we mean by that?
I found that the culmination of judgment isn’t verdict and sentence, but wisdom and joy. Christ didn’t come to condemn, but to save. In the original Greek, in this passage (John 3:17) the word ‘save’ means to make whole, to heal. Being saved isn’t about avoiding damnation; it’s about developing into our best selves, into the people we already are in the eyes of the Divine.
That means judgment isn’t about conviction or absolution, payment or reward, but rather, it’s a method for personal evolution. It’s really a five-fold process:
· reflect and evaluate – what were the events, the emotions?
· discern and learn – what caused hurt, healing, pain, joy?
· release the negative – letting go is necessary.
· enfold the positive – be lifted. Grow!
· clear and open – relax and be ready for new things.
Judgment is something to anticipate, not shun. I am reminded to enjoy this moment of culmination, and to take time to embrace the merciful gift of judgment.