Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How Do I Know?

How do I know that the large, beautiful, shiny diamond on the pretty girl’s finger is real, and that she therefore is rich? Maybe it is a synthetic bought in the QVC clearance store, and the girl saved for a long time to buy it.

How do I know that the little boy who is sucking on a sucker on a Tuesday morning is ‘always’ eating candy and that he has a bad mother who ‘lets him eat candy all the time?” Maybe he has not had a sweet treat in weeks, maybe he never or rarely gets treat – a truth just as possible as ‘he always’ gets sweets.

How do I know the little girl in the Walmart cart with a pacifier in her mouth is too old for that? Maybe she is not as old as she appears, maybe she just got hurt and needed to be soothed, maybe she……

How do I know the heavy set woman in front of me at Safeway with a cart full of ‘junk food’ is buying it for herself? Maybe, she is having a party, bringing snacks to a party, office get together.

How do I know that the ‘perfect’ looking house, with the pretty fence is lovely, warm and inviting on the inside, and something that I covet? Maybe, it is a beautiful fa├žade, like the gorgeous Trompe D’oils we saw covering up the dusty renovation work of castles in Europe?

How do I know that my fellow airline passenger, dressed like she walked off the pages of Vogue is so confident in herself? Maybe she is covering up her insecurities, her loneliness, and empty life?

How do I know that the couple that sits behind us at the restaurant is truly happily married? Maybe this is the first civil conversation they have had with each other in months.

How do I know that she sales clerk is mad at me, when she snaps at my request? Maybe she had a sleepless night, maybe the bills are stacking up and no way to pay them, maybe it had nothing to do with my request

How do I know that someone intended to hurt me with actions or words? Maybe there is a true intent veiled behind how I received the interaction, maybe even bathed in good intentions?

How do I know that the child acting out in the store is due to poor parenting? Maybe the child is facing the imminent death of a parent and the shopping trip on the way to the hospital is to find the ‘right card’ for Mommy so she will bet better.

How do I know that that the decision that someone made was wrong and foolish? Maybe there are more facts than I have been aware of, maybe there is information that is not shared, maybe from the other point of view it appears to be a great choice.

How do I know… the list goes on and on. My brain makes judgments constantly and the outcome affects how I see and interaction with people around me. Maybe I am wrong in my judgment, maybe I am too quick to judge, maybe it is time to give people a chance to show me who they are without coloring their presentation with my snap judgments.

Thank you Lord for your gentle teachings, for helping me be more compassionate and less critical Lord give me the courage to not judge, the patience to uncover all the facts, and the grace to love everyone I encounter .