I’m still prejudiced

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
John 8:7

waffle-house

I’m still prejudiced.

Sometimes I get this false notion I’ve outgrown it.

Oh, how wrong I am.

It doesn’t take much to prove it.
How about a Saturday breakfast at Waffle House?

Two white customers at the counter in front of us were dressed immodestly. Anybody would say so. One had tight, black yoga pants with a short shirt, belly oozing out every opening it could find. Scuffed, red, very high heel shoes on her feet.

But she was decent compared to the other. I don’t remember the second woman’s shirt; I couldn’t get past her skirt. Or, piece of cloth, I should say. Pink, tight, short, and see-through. Black thong underwear underneath.

They were sitting beside a man, slightly older, buying the morning meal. At a minimum, this meal.

All that was bad enough. Or so I thought. Until they stood up to leave.

When the woman in the “skirt” got up, her small amount of clothing had shifted. This was bad. (The lady beside us covered up her son’s eyes. If I’d known it was coming, I’d have covered up Jeff’s.)

I blossomed into full judgment mode now.

What was this trashy woman thinking? Why was she bringing her prostitute self into a Waffle House where families were trying to eat breakfast? Did she have no other clothes to wear in public? 

Then she said something. To us.

She apologized.

It was short, granted, and I can’t vouch for her sincerity, but in one short statement, she acknowledged who she was and acknowledged who we were.

“I’m sorry, ladies; excuse the skirt.”

Sigh.

And I was sorry, too. Maybe she saw no way out of her mess. She looked ragged. I’d noticed her feet had sores, and when I looked at her face, I saw a band aid covering a cut near her eye.

This was a broken woman.

That made two of us. Broken in different ways, to be sure. But nonetheless, here we were, two women made in the image of God, intersecting at Waffle House on a Saturday game day in Auburn, Alabama. Both with hurts. Both with sin.

And both with hope?

I know I have it. I thank God for it. Whatever life throws at me, I can throw it back (eventually anyway) and claim, “Better is on the way!”

But this woman? What hope is she holding on to? Does she know Jesus?

Instead of jumping to judging, I wish I’d passed through praying when I first saw this woman. But as Grace covers my indecent prejudice, Grace also helps me outgrow it.

And Grace wants to cover her, too. Grow her some hope. Grace can do that.

I pray she’ll let him.

   Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
   She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

John 8:10-11

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What helps you pray before judging?

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