Joanna’s piece about practicing compassion reminded me of an experience I had a few years ago.
I had been daydreaming on my way home from work when a woman caught my eye.
She was hard to miss.
A heavyset woman with red hair. Bubblegum pink straps sank into her shoulders. Her tank top hugged her torso. The bottom of her shirt was folded up, causing piles of flesh to peek through. It looked like she’d dressed in a hurry.
She sat down next to a woman she knew, a blonde with skintight jeans covering a pair of crossed legs.
The blonde woman wore an incomplete ponytail. She had on a thin T-shirt that was cut in pieces and knotted in the center of her back, exposing a black bra.
As they chatted, I watched, hypnotized by their clothing and their oblivious and complete comfort with it.
My mind struggled to make a connection.
What is going on with them?
I needed to label the situation and the people in it. Homeless? Vagabonds? Prostitutes? Trashy? Ah, that’s it. Trashy, it is.
I sank back in my seat, satisfied.
But as soon as I did, the Holy Spirit immediately sat me back up.
How could I dare assume? I had no grounds to judge. Whatever situation it is, these women are His daughters and they are loved.
Ashamedly, I had written “worthless” on someone who was loved by Christ, just as I was.
I pondered my chastisement all the way home and never forgot that lesson.
Labels create distance and fabricated reasons to not engage. But as Christians, we are called to love, pray, help, laugh, and cry with anyone and everyone.
Without labels and without judgment.
Join the conversation! Does this connect with you? Have you had an experience in which your preconceptions were changed?
Hi, there! My name is Jennifer. I’m 31 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms. In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!