"Stop judging, that you may not be judged." Matthew 7:1
I wish I could stop judging, but so often it seems that I’m judging someone before I realize it. For example, when I see a young person who has a punk hairdo or tattoos and piercings, I think, "Boy, they sure must need attention", or even, "How sick is that"? Then one of my kids got a tattoo and another got a piercing. And these were my kids who I knew and loved! They were and are intelligent, interesting people and very much worth getting to know. They have really helped me not be so quick to judge by appearance (or at least when I start to judge, I can stop myself more quickly).
I also used to be very judgmental of people who worked at abortion clinics. I used to pray once/week at a planned parenthood with a friend. We would take our walk around and around the clinic praying that the women going in would change their minds, or that the electricity would go off and they would have to close for the day. We prayed and prayed that the hearts of the doctors would be changed and that their eyes would be opened to the reality of abortion.
At this clinic there were "escorts" who sat at the door of the building. They would run over to a car when a client would arrive and rush them inside before a pro-life person could talk to them or hand them information about abortion. One day when we were walking, it was very cold. Since we were walking, we warmed up and soon didn’t need our gloves. As we came around to the front of the building, I sensed the Lord asking me to give my gloves to the escort who was sitting there and obviously very cold. I stopped and asked him if he would like to wear my gloves while I finished my walk. He looked at me curiously and then said, "Yes, please that would be very nice."
I will never forget that experience. The Lord showed told me that He loved that man just as much as He loves me! And that we were really very much alike… because we were both doing something for a cause we believed in. He believed in a woman’s right to choose and I believe life begins at conception and needs to be protected. It wasn’t my job to judge him – it was my job to be kind to him as I should be to all of God’s children. Remember the song the Love Round? "Love, love, love, love. Christians this is your call. Love your neighbor as yourself, for God loves us all." Lord please help us judge a little less, and love a lot more!!!
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 2, soon to be 3. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.jcarleton.com/ or email her at janice@frcedric/org