Thursday, October 2, 2008

Confessing some planks

I really try to examine myself, as I know most of us do, to discover my own sin and repent.  Especially lately, as I feel the spirit of judgment rising in me so often, I try to stop and ask God to show me the planks in my own eye.  I fear that I am so judgmental of judgmental people that I am one of them, and that scares me.  I became painfully aware of two significant contradictions in my life yesterday:

I love listening to the news on NPR, and I usually have it on as I'm making dinner in the evenings.  With the constant interruptions of kids, while attempting to follow a recipe, I only catch bits and pieces.  Yesterday amidst the confusion I thought that the story was about Texas recovering from the recent hurricane . . . so my attention was fading in and out and then I heard the reporter say that the situation is hardest on widows, who are homeless and being forced to beg or resort to prostitution . . . I stopped what I was doing . . . widows . . . prostitution . . . I listened, horrified . . . the reporter continued and I soon realized that the story was about widows in Bangladesh.  I returned to what I was doing, unaffected, thinking . . . oh, it's only Bangladesh . . . .  

I would never admit being racist, but this shameful thought process reveals that apparently my compassion only extends within my own country.

My second true confession from yesterday:

A few weeks ago I found the cutest pair of shoes for Sami at BabyGap, for FIVE dollars!  I LOVE finding deals, and this was the best deal of the season . . . as anyone who tries to keep a growing toddler fitted with quality shoes will tell, shoes are SO expensive, and kids grow out of them unbelievably fast . . . these fit her perfect, and were so darn cute.  I'd never have been able to afford them if they weren't so marked down.

We went to a state park a week ago and took pictures.  We were there for a long time, and as usual things began to break down around nap time.  It was hot, Sami took her shoes off, I began to hurry the girls into the car to get home.  I realized on Sunday when we went looking for those shoes for church, that I couldn't remember seeing them since that day at the park.  I fretted about it all day, and first thing Monday called the park to see if they'd been turned in.  No luck.  Tuesday I kept looking and asking around, and by Wednesday I am just sick about these lost shoes!  I found myself praying about them throughout the day, and last night I'm lying in bed wide awake, thinking about these dumb shoes.  

And I am forced once again to see what a hypocrite I am . . . I have a prayer list that goes neglected for days.  I don't give as much concern or prayer to any situation where there is true suffering.   And here I am in my post yesterday looking down my nose at baby Gap winners.  Forgive me.  I am, as you can see, a huge hypocrite.


Heather of the EO said...

Ah lady. I can totally relate on many levels to what you're saying here. I hope you go a bit easy on yourself and move forward thankful that you're aware and really care about taking a look at your own heart. Obviously, we all fail. But it says something about you that you give a hoot about noticing it and working toward change.

Becky said...

awww, jess, aren't we all in that boat at some time or other!! lately my motto has been,"live. and let live."...of course, whenever it works out best for ME!! =( =) but, ya, that has to be my conclusion when i find myself judging someone or a situation..."live. and let live." and i must say i have been having to tell myself this over and over lately...argh! have a happy night!

Betty said...

"I fear that I am so judgmental of judgmental people that I am one of them, and that scares me."
We were just talking about this today. It's a fine line to walk w/o crossing. Especially for me when I'm intoxicated with raw emotion. I think the fact that we do self examine and repent, is what He wants us to do, even if it's every 5 minutes(in my case, I'm not implying that toward you) Thanks for keeping me thinking...and examining.

charrette said...

I totally have that weakness for judging judgmental people...and harshly too!

I love the honesty in this post. But I think you're being a teensy weensy bit hard on yourself. For example, your reaction upon hearing that the widows turning to prostitution were from Bangladesh probably had more to do with understanding how that could grow out of that culture and economic situation as opposed to ours -- and less about not caring.

Praying for shoes to come back? It sounds funny and superficial, but I pray when I lose my car keys sometimes. I can understand the shoe thing from that perspective, too. Not in a warped, Gap-worshiping way, but in trying to hang onto something that you valued and your daughter needs. The God who numbers even the hairs on our heads and would not let a sparrow go unnoticed...might show some compassion toward that shoe situation.

We are all hypocrites. And thankfully He is a God of Mercy. But I love how introspective you are, and earnestly looking to repent and improve. I only WISH I remembered to repent every day. You are an inspiration.