From the Pastor's Desk
Last night, as we were returning home from celebrating my sister’s birthday, we saw a pickup truck driving down the road with a frayed American flag flapping from the side rail. I wondered aloud about how much the drag from the flag would affect gas mileage.
That launched us into a conversation about people who have large flags flying on their trucks. We realized that both of us had immediately drawn judgmental conclusions about the people flying the flags – terms like red-neck and white supremacist (referring to the Confederate flag being flown on some trucks) were at the front of our minds.
For all we know, the person we had seen was a veteran who was an advocate for veterans’ rights. For all we know, a person with both flags is the descendant of someone who died fighting for the South in the Civil War.
So often we (all people, not just Pajaks’) make snap judgments based on superficial information. The woman at the grocery store using food stamps, the man on the corner holding a sign, the children who receive free meals at school. Most of the time we don’t even realize that we’re judging … it is just a part of our thought processes.
I wondered about that – about why we all pass judgments on others based on superficial information, And I realized that it is, in part, because we have such a small world view. “Familiarly breeds contempt” goes to saying” perhaps we are so familiar with our immediate community we fall into the habit of pigeonholing people. Jesus said not to judge (Matt 7:1) and its a challenge for us because we are so often locked in habits we don’t even notice.
As I spend my summer, I am pledging to consciously expand my horizons and change my outlook. I pledge to look at the other … to really look, and see an individual, beloved child of God, and leave the judgments behind. Care to join me?