I hear it often over several weeks. Playing over and over in my mind.
You cannot judge until you've walked the life.
I am convicted. It hurts.
Too often I peer inside people's lives. Uninvited. Hunched down, seated comfy in my great big throne, all high and mighty on myself, peering into windows of lives I don't know.
Lives I don't know.
Until I walk in their shoes. Until I live their life. Have their heart beating inside my body instead of my own. Know their pain and sadness.
The truth is that I cannot walk any other life than my own. Basic if/then math statements reveal the truth - therefore I cannot judge.
I've not done Lent before. I've heard of folks giving up things, and most of the time it seems so religious-y.
What do they do what the time they once used for something else, I'd wonder.
How have they grown, or have they?
What was the result of that giving up?
I decided Lent wasn't for me.
And yet, in my heart I really couldn't escape the questions. Not really getting communion. Not really understanding the meaning of the Cross.
Too ashamed to admit it, I fretted inside about how I can call myself a Christian and have issues with these big parts - the biggest part of Christianity.
So, I'd set aside theology and just live my life. Jesus would come nearer and I'd know Him personally, quietly asking Him about the meaning of it all. To know more. To really see how He Loves.
There are forty days between now and when we recognize the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection that leaves me with so many questions, and yet is precisely what gives me hope because sure as I know my name I know the still-small-Voice that speaks to my heart - the Spirit of the Living God.
During this season of Lent, I'm drawing nearer. I'm asking those questions and listening.
I'm letting go of judgment of others.
I'm learning how Jesus walked with folks who claimed to know it all - folks who were so pious. I'm *seeing* more.
I'm leaning in to *see* how this Jesus-man lived among folks He knew so much about, and yet He chose to Love - gently, kindly, humbly.
I won't become Jesus at the end of Lent. I won't be all perfected in my non-judging ways. I'm sure I'll still struggle with judging and questioning why. But, this time will be a good time. It will be a growing time. It will be eye opening and heart widening.