22 September 2008


It was a dark and stormy Saturday night and I was not in the best of moods when I pulled into the Walmart parking lot. That West Coast rain was pouring down, but unlike the name of this blog, grace was the last thing on my mind.

It had been a busy day running errands and only two hours before I had come home from grocery shopping and looking forward to sitting down with some supper and perhaps a g&t. Not being used to a new and much bigger grocery store had left my flustered and frustrated as I tried to find all the things on my list. Save-on-Foods in Abbotsford is a lot larger than Super Valu in Houston.

But the quiet time had to wait. After having a quick bite to eat to stave off a fainting spell, I had to head out again. A had thrown her soother in the garbage that afternoon and to avoid a 13-month-old-sized catastrophe we needed a new one ASAP.

The Walmart baby section is at the furthest corner of the store. As I walked down the main centre aisle I noticed a homeless man dressed in raggedy clothes drinking a hot coffee and watching the tv, most likely taking some shelter from the deluge outside. And his clothes were raggedy indeed - a myriad of colours from different shirts showing through a myriad of holes and tears.

"Why do the homeless have to look so homeless?" I thought uncharitably, begrudging his right to be in the store, as if the sight of him injured my eyes.

As the thought finished crossing my mind, shame filled me. How bad of a mood did I have to be in and how full of my own self-importance, to judge another person? The verse about seeing the sliver in someone else's eye around the plank in my own came to me.

I continued my journey to the far end of the store a little slower and a little more somberly, with words of prayer in my heart.

Those planks of judgmentalism surprised and convicted me. It seems I have some woodworking to do.

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