My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

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Don’t Judge Me!

That Sunday afternoon found me in the kitchen chopping veggies as I prepared Sunday lunch.
I was wearing my “intelligent design, interior shorts,” with matching green shoes and an orange floral top–exposing my shoulders, midriff and thighs.

The door opened and in walked my mom, Laura and Laura’s cousin. “I love your outfit,” she said, as she gave me a hug. I turned to her with mocked seriousness and said, “You know I did not wear THIS to church?” She laughed, then responded, “Even if you wore it to church, I would not judge you. I’d just figure if that’s how you want to do church, you should do you.”

What is it about that generation, I wonder, that make them so quick to state that they neither pass judgment or want to be judged. Are they correcting some flaw they saw in the generations before them? Is there possibly some confusion about values, right, wrong and the act of passing judgment? Or is there something that we all can learn from them?

Let’s explore…
Her name is Saffron.¬†She’s deathly still as she sits in her car. There is no life in her eyes, except for the tears welling up in them. Until, as if suddenly jolted to life, she starts pounding on her steering wheel, crying, “My life HAS to change, I can’t live like this anymore…”

She turns on her car and starts driving, noticing for the first time how many churches she passes on her way home. In her 21 years she had never been to church except for weddings, and she’d never had a desire to go. …The HOPE Cathedral; New Beginnings; Changing A Generation; A Church For The Community; Whosoever Will Come; Lifesavers Ministries; The Love Center; Haven of Rest… She kept reading the signs, her heart yearning for what they all promised…

She pulled in the parking lot, slipped out of the car then with horror realized she had not thought about how she was dressed. She was still wearing her shorts and high heels from the previous night and shame gripped her once again as she debated returning to car and going home. She was so tired, tired of her life the way it was, tired of where her choices took her and so tired of feeling ashamed.

She slipped in the back door hoping to sit in the back pew, unnoticed. Instead, it took an eternity to get to the open seat in the middle of the church. As heads turned and eyes stared, she fought to hold back her tears. “Would someone just help me?” her heart cried?

…If this was “your church” how would they respond?

Would the Outreach Ministry present Christ to her? Would the intercessors be crying out on her behalf? Godly women who had been taught to be uncomfortable about their bodies and made to feel insecure in their relationships, would they view her suspiciously, wishing she had gone elsewhere? Would the older women, steeped with propriety be able to see pass her attire and discern her need?

Would the men offer her Christ or themselves? Would they be so comfortable with a life of continued sin to confidently offer her Christ AND themselves?

What would I do?

What would you do? Would our actions make it difficult for her to receive the Word?

Would Saffron find Christ at the Church or would she find selfishness and judgment?

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Finally, I see you

He just stood looking in at me. I did not want to look at him. He stood on my left. I had never realized how long these stop lights were before. I sat searching my mind, adding and subtracting and came up empty. I had no money in my purse–I could not look at him and not have something to offer him. I felt compelled to turn–I saw the empty mouth hanging open, but his eyes broke my heart. They seemed sad, desperate and lost.

I suddenly remembered I had put away some single bills the day before for this very reason. So I reached for it, rolled down my window and handed it to him. He said, “All I can say miss, is God bless you for your kindness”. This guy was new, I had not seen him before. I had a few regulars, they were on my route home so I felt in someway responsible. I’d give them a few dollars and move on.

This day however, when I got home, I bawled, literally. There was something about him, that broke something inside me. I had arrived home to a house that was so warm in the winter that my attire was consistent year-round–dressed for the topics–but I had handed him $2. and left him out in the cold.

I kept wondering what else I could have done, my help in the face of such a challenge seemed inadequate. Later that evening, while reading “He Still Moves Stones,” Max Lucado retells the story of Leo Tolstoy, a Russian writer. Tolstoy said one day as he walked down the street he saw a beggar. He reached in his pocket to give the beggar some money but his pocket was empty. He turned to the man and said, “I’m sorry, my brother, but I have nothing to give.” The beggar brightened and said, “You have given me more than I asked for–you have called me brother.

Maybe that’s why I felt so broken, I finally saw, and realized these too were my brothers, though homeless, hungry and hurting we were connected. I also learned that even when my purse is empty, I can offer love, acknowledge and affirm their person-hood and let them know I see them.

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