This shack caught my eye. Roaming chickens looked for their next meal. A swing set made of tires and recycled metal stood as an eye-sore. Men congregated in chairs on top of a dirt yard. And, one man climbed through the side window as if it was his front door.
Is this a crack house?
That man hanging out by the front door, he must be out of work.
The woman, whose knees I could just barely see through the open front door, she must be baking in that 100 degree house with no A/C.
Then I saw her, a little girl. One much the own size and stature as my own little girl. One who would make your heart say, "Awww". She came running out of the house with all her might and beelined to the play set next to my traffic-stopped car. Her mom, rose from her sitting postion, chased her, swooped her deeply into her neck and gave her one giant love hug.
A mother, much like me.
A mother driven by love.
Overwhelmed with God's gift of motherhood.
My heart instantly connected to this woman because her great love was apparent. It shone like the top of the Chrysler Building.
And it touched me.
It reached over the fence to say, "You may live miles away from this woman. You may live entirely differently, but you are still driven by the same thing - LOVE.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35
Love is the universal language that meets all hearts.
You may not know what to say, but love does.
Love transcends the boundaries of society, etiquette and race.
It is the greatest wonder of the world.
Love tramples down the barrier of initial perception;
it is the amplifier of real connection.
This woman pierced my heart. We may live miles away - she in Costa Rica and me in the US. We may have entirely different lifestyles, me in comfort and she with little, but she was the one with the lesson to teach me.
She taught me that when I judge, and often when I feel badly for someone, there is pride hanging out under that hood. If I really take a hard look into my inner workings, there is a girl wanting to stand a little taller, be a little prouder and seem a little wiser.
There is a girl that says, "Too bad they aren't like me."
It may be disguised in a heart of service or care, but I should never fool myself into thinking I am the great giver. Because when I make the choice to stand above, rather than with, I lose the opportunity to let God work - in.
I wear the guise of power-girl instead of seeing God as power-full!
Where do you hold power, see your power and exert your power?
How might God be calling you to lay down your status of power,
to raise up the power of his cross?
Judgement is often derived from one who (knowingly or unknowingly) thinks they stand in the power position - or at least that is how it worked for me.
1. an attempt to rise above our own weaknesses, so we feel better about ourselves.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Mt. 7:3
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. Lu. 6:37
3. a quick-opinion on what could stand as a life-long struggle for another.
Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her. Jo. 8:7
4. a roadblock to the grace which is available to all hearts, at all times in all ways.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Eph 2:8
5. a prohibition of authenticity in our relationships.
We become fearful that others may smile and slap us in the face much in the same way we have done to others.
Judgement rides your worth high for a moment and then drops you in shame before you know it. It puts an ocean of differences between two people who have much of the same mess, playing out in different ways.
We are all people on the great hunt for love.
We are all just crazy, sometimes lonely, often emotional, people
in search of something to bring us peace, hope and joy.
We are all searching, but if we are judging,
how can we help others to go about finding the answer - Jesus?
I don't want to be so caught up in the wrongs of others, that I forget to reach them with the rights of Christ.
In this, I will never forget this woman, not because of where she lived, which is memorable, but because of how she loved. In that moment, I saw our great connection - she and I could be friends.
She taught me to see the things that are the same, to see the love and to make that the connection point.
I never expected to get this lesson from her, in this way, but, there are probably many who have gotten a lesson in pride along a trafficked road.