OK, I've got a good story for you.
Let's start at the very beginning…
One day last week, "The Hub" and I went out to do our weekly errands – marketing, mailing bills, going to the bank, etc.
"The Hub" is really finicky about where he parks his Jeep. (I'm the same way about Eddie, my car). So, we park in the alley behind the market and the stores.
This day, we pulled into our usual place to park, got out of the car, and went and did our errands.
When we started to walk back to the car, through an area between two buildings, I saw *something* lying on the asphalt next to one of the parking spaces.
Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was a pair of fancy black…ahem…undies.
I was appalled.
I called "The Hub" over.
"Look at this," I said as I pointed to the offending dainty.
"Huh," said "The Hub" – rather nonchalantly.
"Don't you think that's disgusting?" I said.
"Someone probably just dropped them on the way to the cleaners," he replied. And then, he continued on his way to the car.
Well, I quickly dismissed the possibility of accidental panty-dropping – because, after all, who has their underwear dry-cleaned? (I apologize if any of you out there do that…)
So, here I am, conjuring up all sorts of nasty mind images of some rude, promiscuous female – doing her "thing" in the backseat of a car (or, even worse, maybe a truck) in the alleyway behind the market.
My expression morphed from disdain to revulsion to out-and-out contempt. Probably some out-of-control teenager – (redundant phrase) – I thought. Or maybe someone from one of the stores on a *quickie* break. A secret, sin-filled rendezvous, perhaps. Maybe even a torrid, terrible affair.
The longer I stood looking at the pair of *unmentionables* – the more judgmental I became.
But then, all of a sudden, things changed.
I thought perhaps I recognized something.
I bent over and looked closer.
"Wait a minute…" I thought to myself. "That little satin bow looks kinda familiar."
"The Hub" called out to me, "Are you coming or what?"
"Come here for a second," I said to him, a bit puzzled.
He walked over.
"I think I recognize these panties," I said to him.
"What?? How could you?"
I whispered quietly to him, "Because I think they're mine."
Well, "The Hub" picked up the fancy black…ahem…undies – and sure enough, upon closer inspection, I realized that they were indeed…MINE!
How did that happen, you may ask?
(You can ask – "The Hub" sure did!)
Evidently the night before, being extra tired, I pulled off my jeans and my underwear at the same time. Then, the next morning, I didn't see the "old" pair in my jeans when I put on the "new" pair.
So, as I walked to the market, the underwear snaked its way down my pants leg, only to emerge out of the bottom of my jeans.
Paints a pretty picture, doesn't it??
You think walking out of a bathroom with a random square of TP is embarrassing…can you only imagine what this would have been like if someone had noticed?
"Um, excuse me, Ma'am. You seem to have a "traveling" pair of panties coming out of your pants."
Can you spell awkward?
I knew you could.
"The Hub" erupted into laughter. I broke out in shame.
Because, you see, I had judged this "other woman." I had thought terrible things about her (lack of) character. I had labeled her a tart, a trollop, a floozy, a harlot, a hussy, a slut. (Don't worry – these words weren't at the tip of my tongue – I used my Thesaurus).
In short, I had passed incredible judgment upon the owner of these wanton unmentionables, only to realize that "I was she."
It was a good lesson.
It's so easy to make snap judgments, to jump to conclusions without having all of the facts. We humans (especially we women?) are so prone to deeming ourselves better than the next person. I think there's some inherent tug/pull between pride and insecurity that drives us to the compelling urge to compare ourselves with others.
I know I have that gene.
It's part and parcel of the sin-flawed nature I was born with.
The takeaway of this little incident? (Besides the "knock-down-my-smugness-a-notch-or-ten" lesson???)
Well, of course – as Jesus said, "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged."
He goes on to say why:
"For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged."
I realized that my standard of judgment had come from an almost instantaneous place of condemnation. I assumed the worst, with absolutely no information to assume that.
What does that say about me?
Besides the great laugh that I had at my expense – which I think I rightly deserved – I was chagrined at the ugliness that often lies just behind my "righteous façade."
Though I am a child of God, I've really got a long way to go.
Lord, forgive me for my self-righteous tendencies, and for my quick judgment of others. Teach me how to be more gracious, and to believe the best about people. Don't let me fall into the temptation of making easy assumptions when I don't have all the facts. And most of all, thank you that You don't judge me in the way that I deserve.
The moral of the story?
Be careful whose *dirty laundry* you condemn – it might just turn out to be yours!
"And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?" (Matthew 7:4)
"Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." (Matthew 7:12)
"Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly." (John 7:24)
"Don't speak evil against each other…" (James 4:11)
"When you say they are wicked…you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things." (Romans 2:1)
"Love…is ever ready to believe the best of every person…"
(1 Corinthians 13:7, AMP)
"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)
Have you ever made a *snap judgment* of someone and been totally wrong?
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"