Our family took a trip to Seaside last week. We had a fun time at the little aquarium, going to the candy store, and playing in the sand. On our way back to the car, Carter was in the front of the double stroller. I'm not sure all the reasons why he flaps his hands and makes a kind of grunting/yelling sound, but he does it often. I think the it's usually because he's excited about something. Anyway, for whatever reason, he was doing it as we were headed down the main street to our car. He does it often enough that I rarely take notice of it. However, I was made aware of it on this particular day because a young man walked by us with a girl, and after passing us I heard him making fun of Carter. Even as I type this now, my heart hurts and I'm getting angry all over again. How dare he make fun of my son!
We were just about to our car at that point and I said something to Eric about how pissed off I was. I kept thinking of all the things I wanted to do or say to that guy. Thankfully, I didn't do or say any of those things.
As I've had time to think about this situation, I can recognize that these things are part of life. Carter will not be my only child to be made fun of. I've had time now to cool off a bit and to really think about what I'd like to tell that young man. What keeps coming to mind, and what I think I'd say if I were in a similar situation again is, "You don't know his story". I know there are mean people in this world, but I'd like to think that most people, after knowing Carter's story, would look at him differently and wouldn't think that some of the things he does are so weird and would hopefully not make fun of him.
It's also got me to thinking about all the people I look at and think, they're acting weird or talking funny or choosing funky clothes to wear. It happens far too often.
Don't you just love how God so often takes the yucky things in our life to show us a little bit more of Him? It's like I'm looking through a different pair of contacts since this experience I had at the beach. In no way am I claiming that I no longer judge others, but my hope is that it is happening less. What would happen if before we thought a judgmental thought or said something judgmental about someone else we reminded ourselves that we don't know their story? What if we would strive to be a little bit more like Jesus in this area.
"The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7b