I will never forget before I had kids I was talking with my sister on the phone. She kept interrupting the conversation to talk with my nephew. I was so annoyed with her, judging her and telling myself I would never do that when I was a mom - and then I became a mom. And yes, what I said I would never do, I now do the exact same thing to other people. Rather than judging my sister, I could have met her with love where she was; a mom who was doing her best to balance talking with me while having a little one also want her attention.
Another time I will never forget is a time when I was able to extend love in place of judgement. It happened in one of my yoga classes. A woman's phone rang in the middle of class. She picked it up and left the room. I could see a couple people roll their eyes. It struck a nerve in my heart because I knew a few miles away my mom was carrying her phone around with her everywhere she went because she was the contact for my grandmother who was ill. My mom answered her phone wherever, whenever. I decided to share that story with my class. I said we didn't know the woman's story and that we needed to let go of judgement and meet her in love. When the class was over the woman came over to me and apologized for answering the phone. I told her no apology was needed. She then shared how she was the caretaker for her mother and that was the nurse caring for her. I was so grateful I met her in love that morning because she was already caring around a lot on her shoulders. She didn't need the weight of judgment placed on her too.
As we keep moving along our journey to be the person God created us to be we may find ourselves judging other people where they are on their journey. The truth is, we don't know other people's stories therefore "we shouldn't judge someone's story based on the chapter we walked in on." (I heard that quote recently and LOVE it!)
Today I offer for each of us to be mindful of when we are about to pass judgement on someone and to….
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
Remember that we are all at different stages in our journeys. When we are able to come beside others rather than put ourselves above them, we are growing more into the person we were created to be. Be love in place of being a judge.