It is amazing how a profound revelation in relation to our own indifference, can just waltz into our being at the least eventful moment, challenging our well thought out version of ourselves. A bit of a mouthful I know, but in sharing this reflection, I wanted to take care to accentuate the power of these profound moments in words and how much we need them to help us live in love without prejudice.
Years ago, when the bus was my car, I used to observe this one particular lady and her three kids getting on or off the bus on my way to work. For whatever reason, there was constantly an issue with her oyster card. It then always seemed like the children were at odds with each other and the mother equally at odds with the children. This made for an interesting bus journey but I tell you what; I immediately judged her and her children.
Then over time, I saw her and the kids together less. I observed a shift. The company she kept seemed questionable. Her appearance became more dishevelled and the hustle became key. As my eyes opened to the situation, my judgement grew.
Finally, I no longer saw her with the kids. I saw her alone, homeless on the street. And my viewpoint was dim. Full judgement applied: I criticise her being, her loss, her faults and what I presumed to know of her. As a mother, my heart went out to the kids, but not her. I would not offer kindness.
Then recently I sat in my car, taking in my surroundings and as I looked up; I met a flash of lady’s face draping across my memory. And then it came to me; that much needed profound realisation. I had no right to judge her and never once in judging her did I pray for her.
Because we presume to know a person, and by this definition cast judgement on them, does not mean we get to forever label, treat indifferently or regard them as unworthy. For we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It is shamefully to have judged her but was so easily done. As I sat in my car, I felt a deep sadness at my lack of empathy and kindness.
As people of faith, we fall so short at times in our endeavour to be like Christ. Fortunate for us, He is a big forgiver of sins. So I sought His forgiveness and I prayed over that lady and her kids, as its never too late to pray or correct a wrong. Even if I never see her again, I know my prayer has power and God can do more than I can.
Where has your judgement led you astray or blinded your love and gracious towards others? if so, how can you take positive steps to change this, now or in the future?
Actions you may consider:
- Pray for the person or situation
- Offer up a kind gesture
- Clear the air in a positive environment
- Commit to reflecting on and paying attention to your thoughts and how they affect your actions.