Yesterday in usual Sunday morning fashion we were late. Late for Mass which if you haven't heard me say it a thousand times...we drive far to go to church. So when you're late and have a long distance to go- it's not a leisurely morning of sipping coffee and reading the gospel ahead of time to be prepared. In a word, it's stressful.
I opted to go to a closer church yesterday. Better to be on time, I thought. Before I even pulled into the parking lot I was irked. I followed a car covered in bumper stickers for a candidate I'm not voting for. "Are you kidding me?" I said out loud. Within seconds I had sized up this woman and was angry with her for even coming to the Catholic church with her very loud, controversial opinions stated on her car. "Okay, easy girl, maybe it's not her car" I thought.
We went into the church and not a one was kneeling in prayer. Distracted, I took a quick scan and saw lots of chomping on gum, chatting like a picnic, very casual outfits, kids up and down to the water fountain, etc. And then I saw her. The old lady in the back wearing her mantilla. Boom, it hit me. Why am I sitting here in judgement? This sweet, reverent lady in the back seemed to not notice all that I did as she was focused and smiling and prayerful. Instantly I asked for forgiveness. And I'll need to do it again and again, I'm sure.
Sometimes these little reminders pop up in the back pew of our lives to help us be what He wants us to be. And as for today, I will really work hard to not roll my eyes at bumper stickers or cast judgment in any way. Today I will be the little, old lady and try love it all.