Ashley and I took the girls to Ritter’s frozen custard tonight it was a balmy, sunny evening – 81° and beautiful weather for frozen custard. We got our treats and then walked across the courtyard to find a seat. Christy and I got to the table first and I sat down and turned around. I saw Isabelle slowly walking towards me, her chubby little face grinning as she was excited about being out and getting to have frozen custard. I thought to myself when I saw her bloated arms, belly, face: “I so want someone to try and comment about us feeding our kids too much.” I would very quickly drop the Leukemia word on them and they will regret ever judging my precious little daughter.
I was doing the same thing that I didn’t want others to do
It was then I realized that I have a problem. In fact it’s something I’ve come to know more and more over the last month. It’s dangerous and hurtful. I am really quick to judge other people based on how I see them.
I don’t want people to judge Isabelle based on what she looks like without knowing her story and struggle with leukemia. Yet, I look around me all the time and mentally write off people without knowing their story.
And you know the crazy thing? Sometimes I do the exact thing that I don’t want others to do to Isabelle. I judge others weight. I don’t always take the time to listen to someone’s story. And you know what? It’s no business of mine to pass judgment on anyone’s actions except for those of my home.
For me, I have been chronically and almost effortlessly in shape my entire life. I have never had a serious illness or have had to take heavy duty medication. I have no idea what it’s like to come back from steroids and chemo therapy.
Many people are in the same place as Isabelle
I know many other people are like my precious Isabelle. Many people are experiencing the effects of disability, medication, or other life factors have caused them to gain weight. Many more people have life circumstances discouraging them. And I know I have never had to lose weight. Yet my beautiful wife Ashley has worked tremendously hard to stay in the shape she is in. It’s hard work!
You know, didn’t Jesus have something to say about this?
“Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” – John 7:24
Jesus told me to judge correctly. For me to rightly evaluate Isabel’s situation involves knowing intimately what she is going through. And even then, the only say I have in her life relates to the fact that I am her father!
When I look at other people, be it weight or other things, I must not look down on anyone! I must understand that for every person I meet there is a massive amount of information that I don’t know.
Of course Jesus also told me it was really most important:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. ” -Mark 12:30
Then, the second thing is I am to do is this:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” -Mark 12:31
That is a high order, a great calling. If I really do what God told me to do and love him with all I have and then love my neighbor as myself, I won’t have much room left for any judging.
My commitment to love better
My commitment from this day forward this to pursue loving God with everything I have! And out of my love relationship with God I will learn to love my neighbor as myself. I will see every man, woman, and child someone made in the very image of God. And anytime any critical thought creeps into my brain I will tell it, “you do not belong here!”
I will do my best to take every person I meet and see them in the way I want others to see my daughter Isabelle. I will see them as people of extraordinary value deserving to be loved, understood, and respected. May God grant me the grace to be the person I need to be.