The following was originally posted on the blog of an internet friend, and I liked it enough to request (and receive) permission to copy it. – V
Today I found a bookmark souvenir from a trip with my family the summer before my last year of high school; we’d gone to Europe and this came from Tour, France, where we visited a very old church (of the same era as Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, but not in as good repair…)
It has a poem on it:
Pray don’t find fault with the man who limps
Or stumbles along the road,
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt
Though hidden away from view
Or the burden he bears, placed on your back
Might cause you to stumble, too.
Don’t smear the man who’s down to-day
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall, or felt his shame,
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong, but still the blows
That were his, if dealt to you
In the self-same way, at the self-same time
Might cause you to stagger, too.
Don’t be too harsh with the man who sins
Or pelt him with words or stones
Unless you are sure — yes, doubly sure
That you have no sins of your own.
For you know, perhaps, if the tempter’s voice
Should whisper as soft to you,
As it did to him when he went astray,
‘Twould cause you to falter, too!
-With the compliments of Restaurant Normandy
Reprinted from the Normandy Gazette Centennial issue, 1967