Sharing my story below was inspired by a video I saw on Facebook. I shared it there, but the message on LOVE is deeper and needs to be shared again!
Here’s the link to the video which inspired me: Link to video
It all comes down to LOVE! Here’s my little story of how badly judging someone can affect them! It’s not fun to read. Please be kind to one another.
Just over a dozen years ago when I had attended the second of two evangelical churches, I was personally reduced to the point of feeling so worthless to walk on this earth or to breathe the air that I was searching for a way to quietly leave this life.
Why? Due to my health problems, the last one I had was bleeding blisters on my face and eyes due to severe allergies to tiny metal particles found in copy machine toner. (I was so stressed out by my daughters severe IBS which had her housebound and home tutored that I was trying to relax myself by giving myself face massages, little realizing I was rubbing the toner particles into my skin after having touched papers while at work!)
No one knew what was ailing me, so the leaders in the church decided that God was punishing me for undisclosed sins! My daughter’s ill health apparently was God’s punishment too, since “the sins of the parents are visited upon the children”.
As a result I was shunned. The congregation followed the leader’s examples. I was also given many “correctional” lectures to “help steer me from my sins”.
I was judged a bad Christian, when I spent hours praying for others, sharing everything I had, inviting people into my home, teaching about LOVE and doing everything I knew to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.
The harder I tried, the more stressed and distressed I became, the more I tried the relax and help my chronic migraines with more facial massages. The worse and worse my appearance became.
The bleeding blisters were in addition to the chronic shingles I also had. I was in bad shape!
The more I was judged, the more I suffered. I lost all my self esteem, and was brought to the point that I didn’t deserve to walk the earth.
I will NEVER be part of a congregation again! Just visiting to a church and listening to some sermons was enough to have those bad memories wash over me again.
This exact time of year was when I had attended an in home pre-Christmas dinner at one of the leader’s houses. I went with my daughter to quietly say goodbye to everyone in my heart. I had a migraine and sat down on a sofa in the front room with my daughter. I was left alone by everyone.
There was an older man with white hair sitting on a chair across the room. I didn’t know who he was but assumed that he was one of the church members fathers, because that young man was the ONLY PERSON who spoke with the old man, who looked lonely.
Meanwhile, I could hear the conversations of people telling each other about their good deeds, and of all the people they were evangelizing to.
I smiled a bitter smile to myself, seeing another example of the hypocrisy I was accustomed to seeing. There was a lonely old man, invited to a Christmas dinner celebration and NO ONE was talking to him!
When it was time to leave, one of the leaders saw me out the door. I spoke to him about what I saw and spoke about scriptures teaching us that the greatest commandment is to LOVE one another, that LOVE forms the entire foundation of the world and how important it is!
As far as I was concerned that was the final time I would see that man, ever. My final words to him were about love!
Obviously, I didn’t follow through on my plan! What happened?
That old man? He and I had struck up a conversation! We had agreed to meet the next day for coffee after I drove my daughter to the airport to visit her father for the holidays.
Turns out he was Lakota trained, carried the Chanupa, and poured water at Inipi ceremonies (Sweat Lodge). We had many conversations after that first one. Our conversations were about God and our faiths. He invited me to attend my first Inipi ceremony.
I learned about a different side of God. The loving side. I had read about that in the Bible and it was the basis of my beliefs, but unfortunately wasn’t what I had experienced.
I left that church for good and started healing from all the hurts that being judged had inflicted on my spirit.
I learned about a God who is much, much bigger than just one church! I learned about the importance of having an open mind to see, to truly see, ALL the different truths, not just the narrow slice of truth one church preaches!
You see, when we focus only on that narrow slice, we can become completely blind to see the stranger in our midst who just wants to be befriended, or the person suffering in pain who needs to be comforted and not judged!
So, please LOVE one another! Even the people who we might not want to! (They might need it the most!)
PS: That old man with the white hair became my second husband and all the lessons I learned the hard way about life are in my book “On Becoming a Lemonade Maker “!
Here’s some links to Instagram videos I’ve made about my books:
My Book and Workshop Combo!
Peek into the pages of “On Becoming a Lemonade Maker”!
Peek inside the Workbook pages!
Peace to you all this Holiday Season! May Love guide your life with gentleness! I wish you a Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
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