Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Never Judge a Book by it's Cover

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Romans 2:1-3

For Christmas, Lindsey and Gabriel bought me a book. Multiple Blessings by Kate Gosselin. It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift, as the babes knew that I once enjoyed watching the TLC hit show, Jon and Kate plus Eight. At some point, I quit watching the show. It stressed me out. I didn't too much enjoy watching their marriage unfold in the midst of their chaotic schedule, and in front of their children. It was a nightmare. I felt as if I were invading personal and private space. But more than that, I formed an opinion of this mother of eight that wasn't very nice. Especially after seeing her on Sarah Palin's Alaska. Oy vey.

Once I unwrapped the gift, I believe I may have secretly told myself that I would probably not read it.

I was wrong, however. On a cold quiet day, last week, I picked that book up and read until there was nothing more to read. It was a sweet blessing. I laughed and cried, and felt as if I had been taken through five years of trials and tribulation right along with her. The book included her walk with Christ throughout it all, and it was quite humbling. She is human. She loves the Lord, and is doing the best that she can to take care of eight children. I can't imagine what having eight children in the span of three years would do to me, but I can imagine I'd not be the most popular person in the world, either. She has maintained a sense of much needed control in her life and for her children, and has done so with the help of Christ. My hat goes off to her.

Recently, my sister and I sat outside the First Baptist Church, on a wall with our feet dangling over the sidewalk as our children played in a small field just behind us. The church is located close to the square, in town, so it isn't unusual to see people walking to and from shops/homes in the area. We were startled by the unexpected presence of an elderly man. He was quiet, and I had no idea he had been walking towards us. I jumped when I saw him. He just laughed and said, "Oh! I'm sorry I scared you. You okay?"

I am ashamed to admit that as I took my first good look at him, I immediately thought that he was going to ask us for money. I based my assumption on his appearance. He looked disheveled. His clothes were covered in holes and stains. His pants were much too short on him, and his shoes barely covered his feet as, they too, were covered in holes.

His smile was radiant. It never left his face. He stood facing my sister and I, and told us that he loved us. He said that the first thing out of his mouth, that morning, had been praises to God for letting him see another day. He explained that he didn't know why God had given him so many days of life but he was thankful for each and every one of them nonetheless. He thanked us for loving God and for being his sisters in Christ and told us, once more, that he loved us before walking away.

That precious man didn't ask us for one thing.

To say that my shoulders are burdened with shame, would be an understatement. I think of that man constantly, and understand my guilt. Yet, I continue to judge a book by it's cover.

I am challenging myself to remember that God created everything and everyone perfect in His sight. I am challenging myself to remember that I am not above God and have no right to judge anyone for any reason.

Father, thank you for putting me on the same path as that sweet elderly man. I pray that you continue to fill my life with people and things that help to turn my judgment into insight bringing me closer to You, until my time here is done. I pray that as I continue to grow closer to You my mind and heart will continue to expand so that I may see and love just as You do, without passing judgment. In the name of Jesus, I ask these things. Amen.

"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."
— Mother Teresa

Relishing in His goodness...


Rightthinker-Andrea said...

Some very wise and humbling thoughts.

I'm also glad you were touched by the book. I think there is something to learn about ourselves and our own walk with Christ, in every other person.

God Bless!

Cassy said...

Oh Christy...thank you for sharing this experience! And your heart...and your thoughts...and how God, and this man, touched you that day. Jesus shines through you sweet sister!

Close love from afar...

Christy said...

I simply adore you two ladies...my sweet sisters in Christ. xoxo