Yes. I dropped a Crockpot on my bare feet. Actually, I slipped down our back steps and in the process, I dropped the ceramic insert weighing approximately two tons. Lesson #1: When it’s rainy outside, just hang onto those roast juices for a while. You can throw them out later.
As a result of said tumble down the stairs, I had two problems: I couldn’t wear shoes because the fall caused the four-ton crockpot to crack open–on my bare feet. The result was two big gashes on my toes. Plus bruises. Solution: slip-on house shoes.
My second problem: comfortable clothes suitable for public viewing. My fall left monolithic bruises on my buttocks, making every stitch of clothing uncomfortable. Solution: lounge pants.
These fashion choices are fine if you spend your days as a hermit, but they’re not so stylish if you go out in public. So I had two choices: 1) stay at home for a week while the cuts and bruises healed; or 2) suck it up, Buttercup. I chose the latter.
I’ve now gone to the following places in lounge pants and house shoes: Kroger; Wayback Burger; Costco; Chic Fil A; Five Below; Books a Million; Subway; and church. Life goes on and errands must be run, even if you drop a six-ton weight on your foot.
Every time I stepped out in public, I was reminded again of an important truth: you never know the whole story. People who saw me had no idea why I was shuffling around in house shoes. They were left to draw their own conclusions, which were undoubtedly incorrect.
Therein lies the lesson: Don’t judge. You don’t know why that guy has a demonic symbol on his arm. Or why that girl in church dresses like a hooch mama. At any given moment in time, the people we encounter are living out a story, and we’re only seeing one paragraph of it. One word. Maybe only a syllable. Every person you meet is living an immensely complicated life and you and I have no right to judge the tiny portion we see.
To refrain from judging is to give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s offering others the grace to be in process. It’s believing others are just doing the best they can with what they have at the moment you encounter them–and that may be the worst moment of their lives.
They may have just lost their spouse. Their job. Or their hope. Or they may have dropped a 10-ton crock pot on their feet and can only wear house slippers.
We’re called to love others as God has loved us. And He loves us at our worst. We are to offer nothing less to those around us.