I have enjoyed 2 meetings in the last 3 weeks with mom’s with kids in high school and with parents at a soccer meeting. Years ago, I had the privilege of leading PTA, being a room mom, soccer mom, etc… anything I could do to be a “Super Mom” when I wasn’t working. During that time, I had my share of attitude, judginess (that is now a word) etc… At one point I was so bad, I actually approached a women who looked like she’d be fun to hangout with and said, she seemed like a blast, but I could never hangout with someone who married a guy that drove around in a T-top Camaro. I. Was. Horrible.
Since I decided to give my life to Christ and truly work on becoming a follower of His not just a fan, He has been working on my heart and attitude. When I went to the first meeting, I was floored to not have 1 person welcome me with a smile. I watched has snarky comments were thrown back and forth between a couple of the moms and was FLOORED when 2 of them were HORRIBLY rude to another woman who just lost one of her children tragically. She hadn’t called them back regarding a silent auction basket. An auction basket!
Second, at the soccer meeting this morning. There was a woman who consistently interrupted the coach at the day 1 parent meeting for the spring season. Every time someone would ask him a question, she would answer. He was VERY gracious each and every time. It got to the point where a couple of the parents, stopped looking over at her when she would speak because it was disrespectful.
Both times I was saddened and realized that each case there was obvious communication problems. At the high school, it was the lack of communication, heart and understanding, and at the soccer meeting it was over communication, heart and understanding.
Something I try to do in these circumstances is to try and imagine what might be on their mind to make them act this way. For example, the ladies who were so hurtful in the high school meeting, maybe they have never dealt with death. Maybe they had just found out one of them has cancer and they just can’t wrap their brains around someone else’s problem Maybe they know a million people and have no idea about the tragic loss this woman was dealing with. Maybe their identity was wrapped up in how well the auction went and they couldn’t look past it.
What about the soccer mom? What if her whole identity is in her kids activities? What if no one at home listens to her, so when she is out at meetings, it’s her time to shine?
Rather than become part of the problem by not asking questions and/or pushing in, what if we actually talked to these people? We can be bold and taking time to help in these situations. Maybe pose a question like, “I’m not sure if you had heard, she just lost her son. I can’t imagine the pain that must create and how she could even find the strength to come to a meeting”. It is a gentle reminder and gives the woman a chance to collect herself and apologize to the one in pain.
I am still working on not being judgy. It is hard. But I have to remember, it is my job to love God AND love others. I am not responsible for their actions, but for my reactions.
What I learned today…we ALL have a story. Before we judge others for their actions, we need to remember they have a story, too.