What a Flood Washes Out
My wife and I have been helping with clean up and relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey's devastation all around us. Upon her return from an older couple's home that was flooded with over five feet of water, Diana was particularly sad.
She was struck with the filth and debris the storm deposited. She was flabbergasted by the expanse of destruction in that area of our community. But she was saddened because she knew this particular couple as "friends" from church.
They're in their mid-sixties, dress like paupers, and appear relatively feeble and sickly. He uses a cane, and she complains of back and leg ailments. She wears cosmetic jewelry, and he always wears the same well-worn belt. We invited them to lunch after church several months ago to get to know them better. They were reluctant, until we offered to pay.
They told us of their lives back east and described the rundown community they came from. Neither of them seemed particularly well accomplished.
It was hard to picture them in the large, well appointed, expensively decorated estate my wife described when she told me where she'd been and what she had done. The displaced couple only joined those who came to help late in the day, after revealing they had stopped at a pretty nice restaurant. And they didn't show up in work clothes.
Several of those who showed up to help, left soon after they started going through the house and complaining. It's difficult to sympathize with people who've suffered a loss, when they've concealed what that had, shared so little, and allow others to serve them without recompense or appreciation.
Outsiders judge Christianity by people they know go to church. Yet, not all people who go to church have arrived at a place where they reflect Christian virtues and values yet.
Be mindful of what you project, and be careful how you judge. This occasion offered a good moment for this couple to grow more appreciative and giving. It's an occasion for the rest of us to grow less judgmental.