I am also a single parent, which comes with its own fun book of stereotypes and harsh assumptions. I know what it feels like to be judged, and so do you.
This coin has two sides though. I've pointed the finger of judgment more times than I can even remember. It is easy to pass judgment on someone when you can only see an inch of a story ten miles long. Sometimes things look so black and white. Sometimes you really do know best . . . or do you?
Recently a friend shared a painfully embarrassing moment on Facebook. She could have kept the experience to herself, but she shared her foible with all her Facebook friends because she was reminded of a great truth:
My friend's experience has been on my mind ever since I read it in my Facebook feed weeks ago. It was a powerful reminder to me of why it is always important to reserve judgment. With her permission, I am sharing it here:
"My friend and I were standing in the check out line at Macey's (getting case lot deals) at 10:00 P.M. last night. In walks a dad with his two crying kids. I say to my friend, "Those kids should be in bed. It's ten o'clock." Agreeing, my friend said, "Yeah. It's even worse when you're at Wal-Mart and they're hauling their kids around at midnight."
While we were juding this dad and commenting back and forth on his bad parenting, the cashier continued to ring up our merchandise, listening the whole time. When we finished, she said, "That is my husband and my kids coming to pick me up from work."
I wanted to crawl in a hole when I realized that she was a working, pregnant mom whose husband had to wake up her two kids to come and get her from her lateshift because they only had one car. It was a powerful moment when I questioned my judgement upon her and how many times I had done it to others."
We've all been there - throwing a stone, and getting hit. I pray that I can remember, more often than not, that kindness in word and thought makes my world (and your's) a better place.
Have you had a similar experience? Please share.