Monday, August 17, 2009

Confessions of being haughty

I saw this guy in the grocery store. He wasn't annoying me or inconveniencing me (as I sometimes feel towards people while grocery shopping).
Yet, I judged him silently in my mind.
By the way, this is a confession, which I share only to bring light to how we hurt ourselves and others without much thought or care.
Shamely, my thought was this; "geez, if he wasn't so fat maybe he would be able to walk".
Horrid, I know.
I am truly sorry for my ignorance.
But how did I know I was entertaining such a terrible thought?
I related him to someone I know (which by the way, is how the Holy Spirit often teaches me). I noticed the back of his neck and for a split second, saw the back of my husband's neck. Then, again for a second, I saw my own husband in a wheelchair in the future without his loving family beside him, fending for himself in a cruel and cold world while stuck in a wheelchair and at the mercy of strangers.
My mind was enlightened, my heart filled with love for this man I do not know and probably will never see again. Maybe he was an angel? But, I learned and saw all within a few seconds a valuable teaching: Judge not!
One reason is because you cheat yourself. I don't want to judge this man. I don't want others to judge my loved ones when they are all alone and vulnerable!!! What I really want to do is sit down, share coffee and have a good conversation, perhaps a few laughs, encourage each other and become friends.
I owed God an apology for my initial attitude towards one of His children. God, used my own failing to teach me, lovingly, how to be aware of my thinking and not let it grow into outward rudeness. Though, I'm sure all of our inner thoughts are plain to see on our faces. We fool no one.
We isolate ourselves with these sort of thoughts. Silently making fun of people who do not look like we think they should look like. Okay, so how should he have looked? Strong, tall and muscular?
Oh come on!!!!!!!!! That image is given to you courtesy of some stupid commercial for Hane's underwear. There must be absolutely countless ways to undermine our purity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On the way home that day, I noticed how sad I felt, not just because of this one instance, but because of countless other ways I've dismissed others as less than myself. Oh, so you see? yes, it only makes me feel less of MYSELF.
But, with God all things are possible.
Keep seeking God in all things, and He will help you love.
Otherwise? You will be empty, sad and angry. Just looking for more to make yourself miserable.
Like gloomy rain everyday. Dark houses everywhere.
All inside your heart.
What to do, what to do. What to do? Start. BEGIN! Just pray, "Lord God, help me to love, show me how!!!"
All of us need to learn how to love, and when God does start showing you, even tiny small seconds of enlightenment, your heart will burst for love.
Gratitude fills your entire being, almost too much to contain!! You start to see beauty in everyone and in everything.
You know that guy at church who grates on your nerves? Yes, even he you will see with love and tenderness all the while you learn that being better than everyone else is a burdensome act to keep up.
I confessed this sin and other judemental thoughts and attitudes to the priest. He said, "ah! I just read something about this earlier, what you need to do is when you realize you have this thought, immediately say a Hail Mary for the person whom you are judging".
I thought that was awesome! I can do that!!! Going to confession really gives graces, direction and peace of heart.
I leave you with my heart, full of gratitude for your patience with me as I stumble along, slowly learning but growing in love.
Peace and smiles be within your heart and on your face.