Today someone made a comment to me about Zeke that kind of upset me. It wasn't necessarily what was said, but how it was said. It was kind of sarcastic and judgmental and just rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't say anything but it has caused my thoughts to wander some ☺ Zeke is a 9 year old boy dealing with Tourette's and ADHD. He is learning how to cope with his energy, his tics (although mild right now) and trying to feel normal. I do not make excuses for him. If he is naughty then he will face the consequences. However, I do try to be understanding, as much as possible, of what he is going through. I don't understand it all and I am a grown up. How can I expect him to understand it? Aside from this, he is a very thoughtful and kind boy. He wants to be good and make good choices. He feels horrible when he doesn't. He is helpful and loving. He is funny and goofy. He has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ. He loves to read the scriptures. He loves his family and he loves Nava, our Irish Wolfhound. He is more than a wiggly boy at school, so much more.
I guess, my thoughts today are leading me to the fact that we don't know what the other person is going through or dealing with. We may look at some one and think, "What the heck? What is your problem?" Some people's flaws and shortcomings are more noticeable than others. We all have them though. Sometimes we need to step back and take a walk in their shoes. We need to try to understand them, care about them, love them, and NOT judge them!
Words can hurt, judgments can leave lasting impressions - good or bad. We have the opportunity in this life to build or to demolish. Which one are we doing? I love that Zeke's class this year is learning about filling one another's buckets. His teacher does a great job teaching her class how to do that. How does she do it? By example. She cares for each child in that class. She has patience, far beyond what I could muster! She compliments, encourages, forgives. She understands. She takes time to walk in their shoes. She has been the perfect teacher for Zeke this year as he deals with his life and begins learning about himself. What a blessing she has been!
Our place in life is not to judge but to love those around us. Christ, the only perfect person to walk this earth, spent His life loving those around Him. They did not always seem deserving of love. Some were sinners and viewed as unclean. Some were poor and considered less of a person. Some were from the wrong country or the wrong beliefs. Some were sick or disabled. Most were passed by and wrongly judged by others. Christ saw them only as children of God and loved them with a perfect love. He took time to understand them, talk with them, heal them and lift them up. He took time to teach them and bring them to Him. He turned away none that came to Him.
My father, I have mentioned before, had polio when he was a one year old that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Growing up, I saw the effects of wrong judgments, prejudices, and misunderstanding. I also saw a man who freely forgave, who didn't judge though he was constantly judged. I saw a man who served and took time for others though, at times, no one took time for him. I know I am guilty of judging. I know I do not always take the time to walk in another's shoes. Having him as my father has opened my eyes to those around me and I hope that it has helped me to look at others differently.
Having Zeke come in to my life has reopened my eyes to all of this. It has made me more aware of the judgments of others and also reminded me to judge less. We never know what some one else is going through. We don't always understand why they do what they do. We need to take the time, open our eyes and our hearts and take a walk in their shoes.