Pondering today on “walking in someone else’s shoes”.
With all the election drama that has transpired over the last few months and with all the extended family togetherness the holidays bring, I find myself wondering.
I wonder why some people see things as black while others see them as white? I wonder why some people rejoice while others are so downcast? I wonder why some people are so passionate while others are so passive? Why do some see the glass half empty while others see it half full?
So I ponder. What is it like to walk in their shoes? What joys and hurts have shaped the way they see life? What victories and defeats created their insecurities? What cultural practice or religious lense do they see life through?
In general, many of us are quick to judge others.
We jump to conclusions and try to read a book by its cover. We attach broad, generic labels to people who are intricately unique and valuable.
But people are worth the benefit of the doubt. They deserve 2nd and 3rd and 4th chances. We are all making our way through this journey called life. Some of our journeys look like a stroll in the park, some look like a marathon run, some a roller coaster ride and some seem to be climbing Mt. Everest and feel like they will never make it to the top. No two journeys are alike and it’s for this very reason that we should be “quick to listen and slow to speak”. We should take the time to read the book and discover the whole story.
What if…we took our shoes off and tried someone else’s on for a few steps? What if…we took a detour and walked beside someone else for a bit? What if we saw what they’ve seen? What if we felt what they feel? What if we learned what they know? What if?
I’m so thankful that the love of God can transform us from “Judge” to “Advocate”. Mine has been a long journey of judging, sentencing and punishing people. I sat on the bench ruled by religious arrogance, personal insecurity and closed mindedness. I missed so many opportunities to love others and to extend compassion and empathy. BUT that’s not the end of my story. I’m so thankful for a God who loves us unconditionally. I’m so thankful for a God who has walked EVERY step of my journey in my shoes with me. I’m thankful for a God who does not judge as people judge but sees our heart. Hearts that have loved and hearts that have lost. Hearts that have been full and hearts that are starved. Hearts that have been nurtured and hearts that have been stabbed. Hearts that He alone will revive and restore.
So next time we are tempted to judge, label, or criticize…let’s stop, ponder, and try on a different pair of shoes. Happy Sunday my friends! Love well.