She picked it up and brought it back to the sidewalk. It was squirming and seemed in great pain. Thinking of how hawkers put hoods on hawks to calm them down, all I could think to do was to take off my Pruning the Family Tree T-shirt and give it to Melissa to wrap the poor animal and help it calm down. Acting on that thought, I pulled my shirt off and handed it to Melissa, who wrapped the kitten up and held it in her arms.
Now, before we go further in this story, I have to tell you I was wearing a bright orange tank top beneath my T-Shirt. Indeed, this tank top is a very tight bright orange shirt, and it tends to act as a second skin when I am wearing it.
Melissa and I continued our walk, with her carrying the kitten that had, as I'd hoped, stop squirming. After we said goodbye, I continued my walk home intending on stopping to vote. Our polling place is a nearby church.
Those who know me don't need me to tell them I am quite buxomous. That tank top on the hot day yesterday clung to every curve and wrinkle on my body, and here I was, on my way to a church polling place.
I got to thinking about how I looked. It didn't take me long to realize that anyone who saw me wouldn't know that I'd not chosen to wear that tank top like that; they would not realize that I'd shared my shirt for a cause. I wondered what those people at the polling place were going to think.
And then I realized I shouldn't worry about what others think, the Lord knows my heart. It doesn't matter what I'm wearing. Yes, I could have voted later, but I didn't want to be afraid of what others would think. So I voted. No one was ugly. No one gave me dirty looks. In fact, one guy who is also a Face Book friend expressed concern over my recent health hiccup.
I went home after voting and put on another shirt that I felt more comfortable in.
The next morning, as I told the Lord about the day, he brought a verse to mind that I'd not thought of yesterday.
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1st Sam 16:7
When I remembered that verse, I wondered how many times I've seen someone or heard someone say something and made a judgment about them or against them based on that moment, instead of thinking about the reason they might look the way they do or why they might have said what they did.
No one knew that I didn't choose to wear that very revealing, very tight, very bright tank top by itself. And it never matters what others think anyway. What matters is whether I am pleasing to the Lord.
I feel the Lord was giving me a glimpse of what others might feel when I don't take time to consider the reasons behind their words or actions.
That's not the first time He's given me such glimpses, and I'm sure it won't be the last. To keep a tree healthy, pruning is necessary. The tree doesn't necessarily like it. Pruning my way of thinking isn't always pleasant, but the Lord is helping me become more like the woman he knows I can be, and I want to be the woman he wants me to be.
O Lord, Gardener of my soul, prune my tree. Forgive me for those times I've been judgmental. In Jesus Name, amen.