At the grocery store this week, getting ready for the snow and cold to come, there were a lot of shoppers. Some had fairly full carts, others, just what they didn’t want to run out of over the next few days. You can tell a lot by what they were buying, but that is another article for another day. As usual, I had mostly cat food and litter, speaking of telling a lot about a person. Anyway, remembered that I needed some green veggies for me, I was making my way back to produce. Yes, I was going the wrong way and saying excuse me a lot as I pushed against the cart traffic and breaking through the very long lines at the check-out. Coming toward me was a woman, a little over dressed for the grocery and looking like she was in shock to be in the same place with folks like me. Saw the cat food and (this really happened) rolled her eyes at me in derision, which I interpreted as, “you are taking up space in the story for cat food!!” I wanted to add, “but I’m going to get carrots too;” but thought better of it. I came to a sharp and scary realization; I was being unkind to a woman who was obviously stressed and uncomfortable.
I think in part, that is what this scripture is about. Jesus is saying that all to often we respond to other people’s stress and “eye rolling” by getting angry or defensive. He calls us to take another look at ourselves and respond in kindness and love. Oh, and by the way, when I finally responded to her with a smile and a shrug of my shoulders, she just kept walking. At least I felt better. Hey, maybe that is the point!!