Please Don't Judge Me By My Milk…. or Gorilla Boots

We had one hour. One hour to go to the grocery store, buy some necessities, return to our home to unload, and make it to Jujitsu on time.  Mission: Quick Grocery Store Trip is not always a success, but today I had a good feeling about the trip.  I had a plan.  We would go to Aldi, the smallest store nearest our home.  We only needed a few items, and I had faith the mission would not fail.

The trip was going great. We were nearing the end and I could see the finish line.  I noticed in my peripheral another shopper.  She was shopping alone (wouldn’t that be nice), a little older, and she was staring at my two children.  My kiddos are not those kids that are running in the store, but they are also not always aware of personal space. I immediately apologized, “So sorry if we are in your way”.  She approached my cart.  She had an awkward smile on her face.  What she said took me completely by surprise, “You really should be buying organic whole milk for you and your family. It is much healthier and will actually help your family loose weight.”  I must have looked dumbfounded because she continued telling me about a “milk blog” I should read.  I finally remembered how to speak, and I spouted out that I did not think our family needed to loose weight!  I replied that milk was very controversial and that many people think all milk is bad, but we still drink it.  Yes, I am sure organic is best, but my grocery budget was lower at the end of the month, hence our choice. This stranger continued to tell me how she wished she had made better choices when her sons were young, and I really should consider making room for it in my budget – for the health of my young children.  I finally smiled tightly, said thank you, and walked away with my poisonous milk loaded in my cart. I was fuming.  When planning a trip to Aldi, I don’t expect to be judged.  Let’s be honest.  Aldi is not a “high on the hog” establishment and that is one reason I shop there.  What has happened to our world where a perfect stranger feels that they should judge my milk choice?  Are there not more important issues like poverty, sex trafficking, world hunger, and who Kanye West insulted this week? (I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.)

I realized a few days later that I was as guilty as my grocery store friend. I was scrolling through my pictures on my phone and found a picture I had snapped of a stranger in a mall. She had tight purple cheetah print leggings and furry black boots that reminded me of a gorilla. I quickly sent the image in a text to Matt. All I wrote was “Roar”. Now, I have a sense of humor, and in truth I may still be laughing a little about those boots. But the take away is this: I am no better than the woman at Aldi.  I judge quickly, harshly and unfairly.  Maybe we all need to take a deep breath, open our minds and just love.  Love like Jesus loves.  Jesus sat with the woman at the well, he talked to the worst sinners, and he had dinner with thieves (I bet Zacchaeus served organic milk).  Today, I am going to stop my judgments and try to love more.  Because maybe, just maybe there is more to a person than the milk they choose or the clothes they wear.

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