I took this photo about 4 months ago while grocery shopping. I captured it because I just felt like God was teaching me a lesson that day.
While waiting to check out, I’d looked at all the food on the conveyor belt and realized how different it looked than a year ago. Prepackaged foods, convenience foods, individually packaged foods, frozen junk foods, candy – all things that most of my parenting life I’ve avoided buying (or at least didn’t buy too often) for my kids. For lots of reasons – including nutritional value, higher cost of individually packaged foods, etc…
And in that moment I realized that a year before if I’d been looking at all the food on the belt, I’d probably have judged whoever was buying all that.
(Doesn’t she know individual packages are more expensive? Why so much frozen pizza? Not a fresh veggie represented!! Why not buy in bulk? Where are her coupons? Tsk, tsk!)
But what I wouldn’t have known is her kid is fighting with obsessive compulsive disorder and an eating disorder, and she’s just trying anything she can to get him to eat. That her kid won’t eat anything home cooked for fear of germ contamination. That her kid won’t eat anything that has the possibility of another person in the household touching it. That he obsessively checks expiration dates and the integrity of packaging in a desperate attempt to make sure nothing will make him ill. That sometimes he cries because he’s so hungry but nothing feels safe enough for him to eat. That lots of times she cries because it feels impossible to keep him from losing more weight.
Wow, has my perspective changed. More and more I see and know that we never, ever know what is going on in someone else’s life… and even if we did know, we may not understand it well enough to pass judgement.
(Quote attributed to Ian MacLaren)