Judge Not

“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”

John 8:7

Though I am probably more patient than most, this is not necessarily true when I’m tired. I can always tell when I have overextended myself because I become edgy and critical. Little things which are usually easy to let go become heavy burdens. Though I don’t verbally express my displeasure with the situation at hand, my face betrays me.

A few weeks ago, a friend emailed my husband to inquire about me. He wrote that I looked distressed at church, so much so that he opted not to intrude on the moment. His concern prompted him to check further. When Mike shared our friend’s observation with me, I thought back to that morning. This friend had attended the last Mass of the day. I attended the 7:30 Mass and then stayed to assist at our parish welcome desk for the remainder of the morning. By the end of the third Mass, I felt my fatigue. By the start of the 12:15 Mass, that fatigue overwhelmed me. My friend had waived on his way into church. I smiled half-heartedly as I cleaned up crayons and pencils and replaced chairs that had been strewn about. I’m certain I was silently wishing that people would return what they use to its proper place. I must add that I had done similar tidying up two hours earlier with a genuine smile and without complaint, silent or otherwise.

In the end, I asked my husband to reply to our friend that all was well and that I was simply tired. I asked myself to be as patient with myself as I usually am with others. When I’m tired, I must do what I would tell a loved one to do: Go home and get some rest. If I listen to my advice, I will likely eliminate these judgmental moments which aren’t helpful to anyone.

Patient God, thank you for these well-placed reminders to be patient with myself and with those you have given me to love.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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