Why is it that when my cart clanged loudly into the corner of some shelving as I tried to turn onto an aisle (because the cart was pulling impossibly to the right) that the lady on that aisle looked up at me with disgust on her face and said not a word? Was she wondering how I could possibly be so clumsy? Was she upset that I offended her eardrums with my banging? Why did she not instead ask if we were okay? Or maybe make a funny quip about the state of the shopping carts these days? I just kept pushing along, burying my head in shame.
Maybe 5 minutes later when I stepped a couple of feet away from my cart and turned to grab some sugar, my toddler decided to stand up in her seat (which of course was possible because the seat belt didn’t function properly). Why was it that when I turned back and see this…I also see not one but two people just standing there staring at her? Were they just waiting to see what would happen? Were they just itching to report to someone how I was a terribly neglectful parent? Were they looking for a chance to publicly scold me? Instead why did they not say something to get my attention? Why did they not rush over to make sure she didn’t fall? Again no one uttered a single word to me, they just looked on. Again I pushed on…beating myself up for always failing to check the seat belt before heading off into the store.
When did we become a society that just stares at one another and looks for chances to tear each other down? Why don’t we spend our time caring for one another and look for ways to help each other out?
Lord, I pray that I would not be one that simply looks on and judges. Although sometimes, I fear, possibly without even realizing it…that is exactly what I am. Help me to be caring. Help me to be helpful. Help me to build others up instead of tearing others down.
You have no idea how much a kind word, a simple act of kindness, or even a sympathetic look can edify someone, can change their mood, can make their day, or could even impact the course of their life. Lets all strive to be building each other up instead of being corrosive.