You Never Know

by adustyframe ~ March 16th, 2015

Our little guy loves to talk and has been copying us lately saying, “You never know!” He’s pretty funny (and cute!)

I was thinking of things we never know the other day and thought it would be a good post.

I thought about the time before anyone knew what was about to happen in our lives. I remember walking through the grocery store feeling so empty and burdened. I thought that no one looking at me would know. They wouldn’t know what we were going through or what I was thinking or feeling.

I used to walk through our house and see our photos and memories lovingly displayed and wonder what anyone would think who came  in. They wouldn’t know what was hanging over us and what we were going to be going through.

There was 16 months between this day and the day Lee went to court. 16 very long months and no one knew but our pastor. During that time, I backed away from responsibilities and I became more and more withdrawn.

Most people didn’t understand and some people were very unkind to me. Looking back on it, perhaps we should have told everyone up front, but we didn’t even know for sure what was going to happen. We were just waiting.

But when I look back, I also want to say to some of the people “You didn’t know what I was dealing with” They never knew but instead of assuming that I didn’t want to fulfill responsibilities or that I didn’t care, I wish I had been offered mercy and grace.

I thought about another situation. Someone at church who is on the worship team is very demonstrative during music. A friend of mine visited one Sunday and later said to me, “I didn’t like all that arm waving. It looked like they were doing it for attention.”

Well, she and I were both raised in churches that didn’t really raise or wave arms and while I don’t raise my arms in worship, it doesn’t bother me if anyone else chooses to do so. But what my friend didn’t know?

That person had cancer and wasn’t sure of the prognosis at the time. Yet they were joyfully praising God not caring who didn’t approve.

The thing I want to remember and the thing I want you to consider is that you never know. You don’t know what the grumpy person at the store is going through. You don’t know what the person who rubs you the wrong way is going through. You don’t know why someone behaves the way they do unless you take time to find out.

I want to extend grace and mercy to people because I know how it feels when people assume things and act on their wrong assumptions. I’m not always good at this. I’m even feeling convicted as I type.

Do you have thoughts on this? How do you not assume or act on what you think is true of people? Any advice for me as I seek to please God more and more in this area?




4 Thoughts Shared to You Never Know

  1. J-

    Very well said! I read in a book once that there are grieving people in every pew. That (and some circumstances in my life) have helped me become more compassionate (tho’ I still have a long ways to go). We’ve been in our large-ish church 3 years, so there’s a LOT we don’t know about people’s pasts. It’s easy for me to see well put together people and think they have a perfect life. I have to continually remind myself that these are hurting people just like all of us. Just b/c people can dress well doesn’t mean they are exempt from the sufferings of life in a fallen world. Thanks for expressing this so well!

  2. Courtney

    I took a silly personality test on FB recently and one of the traits was “judgmental”, and really, it is truth. I find myself subconsciously making snap judgments about people, but then have to “hold every thought captive” and correct myself. I know it stinks to be judged. We went through bankruptcy and I think people assume that happened because we couldn’t manage our money well. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth in our case. I do think God instructs us to judge sin, just not the person. Anyway, I think it is a work in progress.

  3. Barbara H.

    So true – we never know what’s going on behind the scenes, and we need to be more compassionate.

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