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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pride and Prejudice

My viewpoint:
A woman pulls into a handicapped parking slot, gets out and walks like a normal person into a large discount store. Another woman follows her and harrasses her for "illegally" parking where only truly handicapped people should park.

A friend's daughter goes to church dressed in weird styles, wears dark makeup and seems sullen, almost rude.

On a jet, a woman rudely shoves my arm off the armrest and takes both right and left armrests. How rude!

Gosh! The things people do.

Another viewpoint:
The handicapped parker who walked like a normal person really is handicapped. She suffers from a rare neurological disorder that will eventually kill her. She puts up a brave front in public, but her muscles sometimes seize, and other strange symptoms sometimes make movement painful and difficult. I know this because she is my friend.

The teenaged daughter who wore lots of makeup suffered from very bad depression and anxiety. She attempted suicide a couple of times and spent several years seeing doctors and counselors. Most people didn't know that. She didn't appear handicapped. But, in a feeble attempt to raise her self-esteem, the girl tried to make others notice her. Her mother knew that some battles are just not worth fighting (the clothers, the makeup). Just keeping her daughter alive one more day was progress. I know this because this dear teenager, now grown, and a lovely young wife and mother, is my friend. But this girl could be anyone's daughter.

And the woman who shoved my arm off the armrest is actually terrified of flying. After the plane took off and she calmed down a little, the woman explained to me about her phobia and apologized. I told her she is a hero for facing down her fear.

It's so easy to judge, based only on what we see. Only God knows what the real story is. Just reading these brief descriptions again helps remind me not to be so quick to judge.

"Lord, help me to love people like you love people. Grant me wisdom and discernment. Help me show grace to others, just as You have shown such great grace to me."

"Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matthew 7:1)


  1. Amen! We're too hasty and jump to conclusions. Like you, I could cite a number of cases where appearances didn't tell the whole story.

  2. Amen, Susan. I'm very quick to judge. Then I have to back off and counsel myself to have an attitude of grace.

  3. Dena, thanks for sharing some personal experiences about how we can misjudge others. I guess that's why God continually tells us in His word not to judge people on their outward appearance.

    Good post :-)

  4. Dena,
    As always,your posts are gripping and the photos especially exquisite but today I'm very touched by your blog title. Wow! Thank you and have a joy-filled week, Bobbe

  5. Thanks, Ron. I guess we've all got tons of experiences we can point to as a reminder not to judge too quickly.

  6. Thanks, Bobbe. It really is our pride that makes us judge others. When the Lord begins to transform our minds through His Spirit, we begin to look at others through His eyes. It is my prayer that I see others with His love.

  7. We might be prompted by an act of rudeness to ask God, "What are you teaching us, me, them by this encounter?" Some of the most impressive lessons have been accomplished by examples like you state in your piece. I find that life is complicated at best. Without God in our lives it would be impossible. Good work, Dena. Keep it coming!