We used to be a very active horse show family. Nearly every other weekend was spent at a show somewhere. Needless to say, we stayed in a lot of hotels. And each time we would rate that hotel as to whether we would stay there again or not.
Now that those days are pretty rare, we have taken to critiquing hospitals! No, it’s not as much fun as staying in a hotel and sizing up their swimming pools, but I can tell you which hospitals offer the best nurses, the most edible cafeteria food (one even has room service!), and the most helpful staff. Unfortunately, I can also tell you where the washing machines and dryers are located on each floor, which elevators run the fastest, and where the best vending machines are at! I often joke with the staff that we are writing a review of area hospitals, that we are not just here visiting!
Part of having a medically fragile child is being able to know the best facilities to take him or her. As Caleb’s mom, I know when even the slightest thing is “off” about him and I do not have time to waste retelling his medical history when his life is at stake. So, I try to get to know and befriend as many of the hospital staff as possible if I know this is a place I will most likely be coming back to. If it is just a onetime visit, I don’t put in as much effort as I probably should.
How often do we take on this attitude when meeting new people as well? I know I find myself doing it! As a matter of fact, just the other day I was put in the predicament of having someone come to my house to visit with Caleb (medical reasons) and I had not had very pleasant results with her before. Honestly, I was trying to figure out how I could get out of this situation! The last thing I wanted to do was waste my time being friendly to this lady who had been nothing but rude to me! Boy was I in for a surprise!
When she arrived, she had the same snotty attitude I had come to expect. When she asked about Caleb’s history and I told her a part of his story and how he came to be disabled, she broke down in tears! Wow, didn’t see that one coming did you? Neither did I! She cried the whole time we talked. Then she told me that she has been having a lot of personal difficulties and that she had really needed to hear Caleb’s story. She went on to praise God for always sending her someone when she needed encouraging, and said that she was meant to come to our house that day.
What would have happened if I would have let my “human” side take over and been just as snotty with her as she had been with me in the past? I would have missed out on getting to know a wonderful person that I had wrongfully misjudged, that’s what! How many times have we been cautioned to ask ourselves “What Would Jesus Do”? That is not always easy, but it is the right thing to do. I am learning that it is not OK to “critique” people the same way we do hotels, restaurants, and even hospitals. We always need to love them, even when we don’t much care for them!
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” – Luke 6:37
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