Stephen and I are pretty happy. We have our squabbles. You know, things like, perhaps I find him incapable of reading my mind and then I get annoyed with him. Or maybe I’m melodramatic about something and he has to tell me to calm down and then I get mad at him. You know, maybe those things happen. But mostly? We’re pretty happy. We laugh a lot. We pray a lot. We watch football a lot. We touch each other a lot. (Minds out of the gutter, please.)
You know what though? You only know this because I’m telling it to you. And you know what? It might not even be true. See, you don’t live with us. You’re not around all time. I suspect that almost every single one of you out there is thankful for this. But the point I’m making is this: you don’t know because you can’t see everything.
And you know, it’s easy to know that about someone’s marriage. It’s easy to know that about how someone lives with their roommate(s).
But what about the single mom with dirty kids in Wal-Mart? What’s going on in her life that we’ve judged her for prejudicially?
Or the obese woman on the escalator in the train station?
Or man on the freeway driving 25 miles an hour under the speed limit?
Or the college student that doesn’t know that you’re supposed to hold the door open for women and take heavy things from their arms?
Or the rich couple at church who seem to have everything when so many others have nothing?
How do we treat these people? We can’t see into their souls. We don’t know what their homes look like. We don’t know the words that are directed at them day in and day out. The fact of the matter is, we just don’t know.
And yet, we judge. We say things like, “What if she ate less or worked out more?” and “Do they NEED that car? Can’t they just give some of the wealth away?” “Why can’t she just make her kids be quiet and why the heck aren’t they clean?”
I think that my favorite thing about the gospel is that Jesus meets everyone where they are. Instead of asking us to jump through hoops, or prove ourselves worthy, he walked through the trenches, reached out his hand to lepers and men and women drowning in sin, and drew them to himself. He changes hearts and then asks for changed actions. He treats people the way we both wish we were treated, and, deep down, wish we treated people.
He just remembers the Gospel.
At the foot of the cross
I give up my vain ambition
And I leave my selfish pride
In the peace that is there
Would you restore my vision
In all the places that I’m blind?
I will wait here at the cross….