My6inchchallenge's Blog

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

Archive for shame

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?


Dear Mr President, am I covered? The challenges of our health care system

I needed to breathe, I felt faint, dizzy. I looked around wishing for a place to sit,  then, nothing, just blackness. When I came to, I was on the floor of the Marta train surrounded by curious faces. At the next stop I was ushered off the train and after waiting for a brief moment I was on my way to a hospital. As a paramedic fussed over me and did some tests, I felt unsettled, I had never fainted before.

When I got to the hospital I was hooked up to equipment and subjected to more tests. After the doctor told me what tests he was taking, I mentioned that the paramedic had already done some of those same tests, then I said the magic words, “I don’t have health insurance”. Suddenly, my physician started disconnecting the said equipment, and said “you don’t have any insurance, well, you look fine to me”. I was then released from the hospital still not knowing what was wrong.

That, Mr. President was my introduction to the US health care system. You see, I was new to this land of opportunity. I was a US citizen, who had lived on non-US soil into adulthood, and I had NEVER been refused health care. I was finally treated at another facility and found I had been dehydrated –my bill, greater than $1,000. That was about 13 years ago, I had been a student and had fainted on my way to The Art Institute.

Thankfully I am employed and have health coverage, but I can still remember the sense of helplessness, hopelessness and shame, not only from the lack of coverage, but the way I talked at, treated like an almost invisible annoyance that no one cared to deal with.

So I ask you, Mr. President, help restore some sense of dignity to those who need health coverage and are struggling to afford it. Remind those in congress, especially the Bible toting ones, that we have an obligation to help the widows, the orphans and the poor, even I do that. Compel them to wrap themselves in urgency because this cannot be prolonged.

WYMS (Wishing you much success),
Dona Halliday

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