A couple of days ago I read an article meant for entertainment purposes. The title was “10 Mothers You Should Avoid at the Park”. Some of it was funny, some didn’t make sense, and then some of the comments the readers left were just plain old mean. In each of the 10 categories I saw a little piece of myself. For example, “stay away from the mother who avoids regular vaccination schedules and lets her toddler sleep in her bed”. Also, “avoid the mother who bakes her own bread and leads groups and committees”. Yes, that was a real one and I didn’t know what was wrong with it. I make my own bread and I was head of several committees before I opted out of “leadership” in the institutional church. I organized and led in some of the jobs in the organic church I was in. I love to have a responsibility to pour my energy and passion into, in addition to homemaking. And yes, I bake my own bread. When we were gluten free it was just plain old cheaper. Now that we are eating wheat, I was given a very simple delicious recipe from a friend and I use it once or twice a week. One of the categories added by a commenter was to stay away from the 16 year old “mom” (her quotes, not mine). I would say that a teenager is more in need of other moms as friends than anyone because her friends from school probably don’t have children- and we all need support from other moms.
It was obviously a silly article, but days later I am still thinking about it. The writer must be very closed off to avoid so many different types of people. One category in particular was a real kicker- she mentioned the homeschooling mom. And as I began to make defenses in my head, I realized that she might have been turned off and hurt by people who make choices like the ones she listed. Her child/ren obviously went to school, didn’t have any overly health conscious habits(based on the organic mom category), belonged to a regular church, and had a baby within wedlock and over the age of 16. I knew her type. I had judged her just then. And then it hit me I had been judging people my whole life.
When I met the Lord I was 17. It wasn’t an easy road before or after meeting Him. If you’ve read my previous blog you know that I didn’t get clean from heroin until I was 21. Yes, you can know the Lord intimately, love Him with all your heart, and then choose to turn away from His life in order to serve your own needs- I did. And I am not concerned with salvation or the fact that you can’t fall in and out of it. Salvation, smalvation. I am concerned, infatuated, consumed, and even sometimes devastated, by His Life, not my salvation. And because I had been through such a deep, deep time of struggle with the Lord and I wrestled with Him for a few years, I felt like I somehow won the award for saved drug addict of the year. I thought I knew Him better than someone who might not have had such a struggle. It used to really piss me off when a Christian, who knew nothing but Christianity his or her entire life talked of desperation for the Lord. How could they know anything of desperation? When I met my husband he claimed to be a Christian, yet drank more than anyone I knew and cheated on me left and right. He grew up in the Church with Christian parents, yet when we talked of Christ, he felt like he didn’t know Him at all. It wasn’t until he became broken before the Lord, and changed as a living God came to dwell in him, that my dear hubby began to actually know the Lord. So, because of all this I felt like only a person who had been through a horrible tragedy, or a mind blowing experience could know the Lord.
Christ has shown me differently in that not everyone needs the smack in the head. Some just fall in love with Christ without the push me and my husband needed to do it. Some are desperate for Him and seek nothing above Him and are so humbled by Him that I would never even know they were Christians had they not shown me the love of Christ… and no great dramatic event happened to them. I stopped judging others when I began to meet people like that in the last couple of years.
When I think about all the other choices I have made, eating organically and doing gluten and colon cleanses regularly, choosing my child’s vaxing schedule, living in a community life of Christ instead of visiting Him in a House of God, and homeschooling out of a spiritual conviction, I thought that the only reason others weren’t doing these things is because they didn’t know about them. I thought, surely if they knew that __________ led to ___________, then they would homeschool, non-vax, go organic, and live by an indwelling Lord. And so I judged because it felt like I had the upper hand. I had this knowledge that was going to fulfill my life, and it does, but I assumed that others would have this fulfillment unless they found what I found.
The truth is, there are people who have researched all these things, and they’ve still chosen mainstream diets, vax schedules, Churches, and public or private schools. People choose these things for whatever reason and I don’t have the “upper hand” on life just because I make different choices. So maybe the woman in this article was right. Maybe we should stay away from people like me, not because of the choices I make, but maybe the woman who makes choices like mine has not learned the value in seeing each and every person as Christ sees them, and putting them above oneself.
One of the best parts of living on earth as a Christian is the freedom I have in Him. I don’t have to know everything. I don’t have to convert anyone to “my way” because my way may not be best for others. Anytime we see our choice as the best one there is, period, we run the risk of looking down on those who make different choices. So I suppose it’s just best to decide what works for our own selves and family and leave it at that.
Thanks for reading, I have more to say on this, but tomorrow perhaps.