It was one of those rare, beautiful, perfect Sunday mornings... wherein the Sanchez clan arrived to church happy and peaceful. I was taking in the crisp air and clear skies when I noticed her. A mom with two girls--maybe about 6 & 8 years old? Momma obviously wasn't in the best of moods, was snapping at her girls and grabbing at the arm of one, hurrying them into church.
Despite my best intentions not to be a "judger", I felt myself wishing the momma could enjoy the morning. "The girls are going to be in child care in a minute, right? They're not misbehaving..."
I soon forgot about the incident as church began.
Before the sermon, the pastor referenced that it was Memorial Day, and asked for there to be a moment of respect and remembrance of those who have given their lives for this country. He then asked for anyone who has lost a family member--dad, mom, brother, sister, husband....--to please stand. As I scanned the room, my heart in my throat as I grieved for these people...my eyes again found her.
And, there she stood. Alone. Her face crumpled in obvious pain, tears pouring from her eyes, shoulders shaking. I don't know her story. Probably never will. But, her agony is forever seared on my memory.
Why is it so easy to judge those we know nothing about? Why do we feel the need, the urge, to see what is wrong with someone...when we've never walked in their shoes--never lived their history?
Longing to be more like Jesus--to see hurt and pain as something the needs soothing and hope...not judgement and containment. Thinking of the Samaritan woman at the well... how He saw through all the "outside things". She, no doubt, was very "stand-offish" and had many apparent things that we (I?) perhaps would have quickly judged. Jesus, instead, engaged. Leaned in. Gave time. Offered a living spring of hope. Life. A way out.