Before you judge...


Did you think to help her? Did you think to pray for her? Did you think that it could've easily been you?
This past Sunday during mass I was brought to tears. Tears that I couldn't control or stop, but I didn't care. While the tears came streaming down I was praying so hard. I wanted to help her, I wanted her to know that it was ok. I wanted her to know that despite the stares she was receiving from other people, that Jesus loves her and that's all that matters.
There is an elderly woman, probably around her late 70's, early 80's that Will and I have seen since we moved here and started attending mass in our town. From the moment I saw her, I really felt for her. I often wondered if there was something I could do to help, but didn't necessarily know how to go about asking her or if she even wanted help. You see, this elderly woman cares for severely autistic daughter. She is probably in her 50's and also has turrets syndrome. The daughter is probably twice the size of her Mom. Usually they are in the back of the church and you don't hear a thing from them.
During mass this past Sunday, they showed up late & the daughter was screaming loudly. I knew instantly who it was. A few people turned their heads to look. I thought once they got seated she would be fine, but unfortunately she only got louder. There is little the Mom can do being older and frail herself. The more she screamed and yelled, the more people looked at them. & Not just looking, but snarling at them. Most of the people looking were elderly women themselves.
It was a hard pill for me to swallow. At church, we welcome anyone. A place where there is love and no judgment. It hurt me to see so much judgment from these women. Collections started around and an usher walked up the isle. The woman in front of us tapped him on the shoulder and bluntly asked if they could be asked to leave. Anger & sadness filled me. How dare she? During the most giving time of the year ask that question. I wanted to lean up to her and say, "Would Jesus ask them to leave?" No. He would've wrapped his arms around them and loved them with open arms.
Quickly the anger I was feeling turned to sadness as I felt our precious angel move inside of me. Tears streamed down my face and prayers for this woman and her daughter. I noticed parents hugging their children a little tighter or grabbing their hand to show their love. The usher politely replied that they weren't harming anyone, so they wouldn't be asked to leave. A few minutes later as the screaming continued, the usher did return and asked them politely to follow him so that he could help. I heard the Mom tell the usher that she gave her medication too late.  
I really wanted to say something to the women that were sitting in front of us gawking at them. & I could have, easily. But instead, I will also pray for them. Pray that they know that Jesus loves us all, not matter what. Pray that the next time they are in a situation like that, they offer to help, instead of stare. Pray that they thank the Lord for their many blessings.
Right there during mass, the Lord was giving us a life lesson about this season. Something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.   

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