I saw you at the “Superstore”. The one that I rarely go to because I jokingly call myself a snob, when in actual reality, I am a snob. You had your three kids with you, and at first I assumed you were babysitting, because “Moms don’t have pink highlights”. And then I remembered my “Hair!” Pinterest Board is full of my Pink or Purple Debate for my own hair.
We were in front of the Little Debbie section and each of the kids was picking their favorite. I judged the health content in those “snacks” until I looked into my own cart at the white powdered donuts that I snagged because sometimes giving Cruz those as one (yes, ONE) of his breakfasts is just easier.
You smiled as if to say, “Kids, right?” I smiled back, “I know, totally.” But my smile really meant “I hope you can’t tell I’m wondering how someone who looks barely 20 manages with three young kiddos.”
I ended up behind you at the checkout. Your cart was spilling over with yummy junk food, cases of soda, macaroni and cheese, and all the things my oldest has learned not to ask for, because “Mommy doesn’t buy us ‘crappy’ food anymore.” Nevermind that the donuts are still in my cart. They’re next to organic cereal, fresh produce, and a bottle of wine. Personally, I’m amazed with my ability to uphold snob status in the middle of Wally World.
I observed your manicured nails and iPhone, and I tried to pretend that your husband is a lawyer, or that you work in sales and make nice commission checks. I tried to stomp down on the thought that you’ll pull an EBT card out, but I can’t help it. Sure enough, after the groceries were rung up, there it was. I felt the resentment rise. And I made judgements and assumptions about your life.
I decide you’re “one of those people”. One that Fox News warns us about. As I’m standing there, all judgy, I know I’ve been “warned” about people like you somewhere else. Like so many situations in life, the Bible has an answer. Matthew 25:35 (and don’t think I didn’t have to Google that!) tells us to care for the needy in all ways necessary. I realized that it doesn’t matter why you’re getting assistance. My place is not to judge. Heaven knows that “Judge not, lest ye be judged” is thrown around more than is necessary, but it’s still a hard one to follow. My place is to be one that cares for you, prays for you, grows in community with you… And instead of taking an perfect opportunity to get to know you, I wasted it wondering why you had a new purse and I haven’t bought one in eight years. Sometimes that log in the eye shows up when you least expect it! We always need someone to help us remove it. It might be a friend, a sister, or just Jesus. The good news is He’s a fantastic lumberjack, and He never tires of removing the same log. Which is awesome for me, because I need to go to the store again.