So I don't cook. It's just not my thing. But the crisp air had me like "it's a soup night", and I decided to try my hand at homemade chicken noodle soup. I threw some chicken breasts in the crockpot and figured I'd run by the store to get the rest of the ingredients before getting the kids from school.
Interesting however, what God taught me at the local Walmart on my quick food run.
As I meandered the isles texting some more culinary gifted girlfriends as to where I could find the best noodles, I passed two individuals who were clearly working against being gender specific. I studied the green haired one and then the pink haired one. And I thought, "I can't figure you out. Are you men or women? And why are you trying so hard to be both? Or is it neither?"
If that offends you, I'm so sorry. I'm just a fellow journeyer seeing things in 2016 that are still new to me. Especially at the local Walmart. And no, I didn't go inquire - so settle down.
But I totally looked.
Not like "rude staring" looked, but definitely "tried to figure it out" look. And as we passed again in the frozen food isle, the Lord impressed on my heart, "There's a story..." . As in, behind the fierce effort they were putting in to their outside apparel, they had a "behind the scenes" story.
And He knew all about it...💕
As my personal walk with Christ continues to deepen, over and over again, He is putting me in situations that both make me uncomfortable, and strips away the judgmental attitude that I've carried for many years.
And before anyone freaks out, I'm not talking about Him somehow gloriously changing my perceptions to sympathetically make exceptions and/or excuses for other people's behavior. Rather I am referring to a cultivating heart that attempts to understand what is BEHIND the behavior. Which is something I desperately need.
Do I only see behavior, or do I see brokenness?
Do I only hear foul language, or do I hear loneliness?
Do I sense insolence, or do I sense insecurity?
Do I understand their upbringing? Their hurts?
Have I ever tried to? 😞
I fear my good and righteous pursuit of holiness has (unfortunately), often marred the interpretation of what I see, hear, and otherwise sense.
You see, Jesus loves everyone. Ones with stories like mine. Stories like yours. And ones with stories like theirs. My prayer is that I will begin to have the mind of Christ when I see those who visually look different than me. That I will be reminded behind every face, there is a story. A struggle. A need. I pray that God gives me opportunities not just to look, but to understand, pray for, encourage and bless. To back away from self-righteousness and instead respond with love and Truth.
With such confusion in this world, I also pray that the Author of Order will Himself bring the healing that EACH of our stories require.
I have faith that He will.
Oh. By the way, I found the noodles. And dinner rocked. Evenings are always better with Jesus and chicken noodle soup. 💕