Years ago, I worked in retail sales. I treated every one who walked in the door the same. Didn't matter if they had on a 3-piece suit or cut-offs and flip-flops. They got the same attitude, answers, treatment and time from me. I didn't do this because my boss said to. I did it because I have been that person shopping. I have waited for sales people to finish with their nice dressed couple in a furniture store. Waited while they explained in great detail about the quality. Waited while they showed the couple all the merchandise. Waited while they offered coffee, snacks and waved goodbye to the nice dressed couple who didn't spend a dime. Waited while they walked back to their desks, past me, the single person, who couldn't possibly want to buy anything, dressed only in a t-shirt and jeans (no holes, thank you!) Waited for them to acknowledge me standing and asking a question in front of them. "oh, did you need something?" Gosh, wish there had been a manager around to point out a few flaws in the salesperson's thought process, when I walked out with a dining room full of new furniture!
It's not about whether you are right or the other person is right. It's not about liking the "bad" people. It IS about love and how we show it, or in most cases - don't show it. We say more "bad" stuff about ourselves when we turn our backs on our fellow man (and that means female and male.)
Forgive me for jumping on the soapbox and shouting. But the situation in our house and family for the last year has been hell. Maybe not to you and yours, but to us. When talking with a close friend about problems she was going thru (awful stuff that I can't imagine how she deals) the conversation turned to my family troubles. I apologized to her for being upset over my insignificant issues when she had bigger problems. She is so wise, that's one of the reasons I love her. She said to not be sorry. That in my shoes, what I was going through WAS of substance. That we are all different, and that what may be hard for one is not hard for another, and vise versa. (See, she is really smart!)
Anyway, we, my husband and I, have felt so JUDGED by those around us. Sometimes family, sometimes small group (church accountability/social/Bible study group,) other church members, neighbors, and sometimes complete strangers!!! But none of them, NONE, have had the pleasure? of walking in our shoes. It kept us from being able to find help, encouragement, direction. From being able to vent, or even move on and get our heads above water.
This is the hard part for me to admit: We have a son who has finally been diagnosed as being a sociopath. He wanted to kill us, still does, and thinks it is funny. He is a master manipulator and very, very smart. We had to have him committed, one of the hardest things as a parent to do, for the safety of himself and the others in our family. His lies brought Child Protective Services down on us. Their surprise questioning of our younger ones left us to deal with their nightmares for a few weeks. (Don't get me wrong. I think CPS is wonderful and have a very hard and important role. Especially for those being abused.) (Ps.They cleared us quickly and have been a great source of help.) At one point, he was back home and the rest of the kids bunked in our locked bedroom with all the boxes of things from the kitchen and house that had to be kept away from our son. We had to monitor his every move from room to room, not able to leave him alone for a minute. Every counselor listens to him and tries to "help" him and is snowed by him. It has been a very emotional roller coaster in our house. NO one would listen or believed.
Through total accident, we came across another family (and then another one) in our own church that was going thru a, if not exactly then extremely, similar situation. Surprise, we weren't the only ones feeling looked down on and judged, by those around us calling themselves "Christians."
Please take the time to read this link!
Who can you show love to this week? month? holiday? year? lifetime?