John 8:15 You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone.
I drove to the local dollar store to pick up a few travel size containers for a trip my husband and I were taking.
As I walked inside I noticed a rather large man looking at me. He had on baggie pants, a hoodie, and a backwards baseball cap. He nodded at me and I gave a quick, nervous smile.
I was rushing about, trying to finish up my shopping before I had to get back to work. After I got what I needed I made my way to the cashier. There were two lines, both of them long.
That’s just great, I thought to myself; now I’ll be late for work.
I chose what seemed to be the shortest line and waited. And waited. In front of me was a woman who appeared to be in her late 30s, and her mother. I was about to switch to the other checkout line, which seemed to be moving quicker, but something told me to stay put. In front of the line was the man I had seen earlier. I quickly pulled out my phone and started checking my emails to keep me busy, not wanting to make eye contact again.
I was barely paying attention when I heard the younger woman in front of me say, “Really? Thank you!”
The man had paid for their purchases.
I smiled to myself. Now it was my turn. I piled my items on the belt and the cashier rang them up. As I pulled out my wallet she said, “Oh no, it’s been taken care of.” I couldn’t believe it! “Me too?” I said to him. “You paid for ME?” He said yes so I thanked him and hugged him.
I hurried out to the parking lot, still delighted at this turn of events, and I saw the man getting into his car. Something told me that I just had to talk to him, so I pulled my car next to his and rolled down the window.
“That was such a nice thing to do. What is your name?”
He said his name was Al. “Well, Al, how can I pray for you?”
Al told me that his wife had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, and was undergoing surgery in two weeks. To take his mind off of their troubles he had decided to do something nice for other people.
It was all I could do to hold back the tears, I was so touched by this man’s kindness. And I was also upset with myself, for judging this man by his appearance.
I promised to pray for Al and his wife.
I don’t know the outcome of his wife’s surgery, but I do hope Al knows how much his gesture meant to me.
I paid it forward the next time I went shopping, in honor of Al.
Has there ever been a time when you unfairly judged someone based on their appearance?
Please share your experiences with me.
God bless you,