Before I Judge… by Shanda

GUEST POST!! WhenI first saw Shanda’s blog, I immediately thought she’s someone I should follow closely. After all, she may possible have lived in more places than me! And her stories ooze of wisdom… the type of wisdom that comes from having thought through something thoroughly. This story below was originally posted on her blog, but I felt like it captured the heart of what CulturTwined is about so perfectly that I asked her if I could re-post it here and she graciously agreed.

Don’t forget to go visit Shanda at A Pause on the Path… it will be well worth it.

Before I Judge
originally posted 19 September 2011, on A Pause on the Path by Shanda

I’ve often wondered; how could Dulce Maria’s mother abandon her at birth and leave her at the hospital? How are so many babies abandoned at birth?

Why would one mother leave the hydrocephalic unit of the hospital and take her gravely ill baby home to die when it had a free hospital bed and care?

Why would a mom, to whom we gave milk for her sick and undernourished baby, choose to give the milk instead to her healthy toddler?

Why would a mother allow her eleven year old daughter to sleep with an older man to bring home only one dollar a day?

Why didn’t these mothers exhibit selfless love for their children?

I often shook my head in horror and amazement when I encountered these situations, ones that I could not even comprehend. Yet I have to ask myself; what if?

What if Dulce’s mother was a single mom with other children at home? What if she couldn’t afford to spend months on end at the hospital without seeing those children? What if she had no other family members to care for her family? What if she feared her husband or boyfriend would find another woman while she was away? What if she couldn’t even afford to feed herself while at the hospital?

What if the other mother had already lost one baby and could not face the prospect of spending endless weeks away from her family to care for a child that would most likely die? What if the pain of loss was too much to bear once again?

And the mother in the village to whom we gave milk? What if she hardly had money to keep the healthy toddler fed? Maybe she feared losing both children and had to make a choice? What if that choice was to keep the toddler healthy at the expense of the baby?

And, what about the mother selling her daughter? I will never find an excuse for that one. But….just maybe…maybe she had never been modeled another way of life? What if she also was in bondage to slavery and had nowhere to run to for escape? What if that $1.00 a day was all she had to feed her other children at home?
I will never understand it. But lest I judge, maybe I should walk a mile in the footsteps of these mothers.

Maybe I should feel the hurt and hopelessness of living in extreme poverty with no options in sight. Jesus came to ‘preach good news to the poor’. The Greek word for ‘poor’ is ptochos, indicating ‘utter helplessness, complete destitution, afflicted and distressed’. The ‘poor’ are not only the financially destitute but also those in seasons of utter helplessness and hopelessness.

Moses’ mother was faced with dire circumstances with the knowledge that her baby boy would be killed by Pharaoh’s soldiers. Yet she put her life on the line by hiding him in a basket in the swamps of the Nile River. She had hope in the Lord and he honored her faith.

I may be wrong but I would hope that many of these women made the best choices they knew to make. And the mother who sold her daughter, I doubt she knew the love and hope of Jesus herself.

I think of the many who have crossed my path, and ask forgiveness for the times when I could have shared Jesus and I did not. I pray God sends someone to share the news of Jesus Christ, so that they might find hope.

And lest I judge, may I remember all the bad choices in I have made in life.

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