You Just Never Know
The first time the umpire screeched, I sat there quietly. The next time he yelled “strike,” I turned to the parent next to me and frowned. The third time, we couldn’t help but giggle out loud. After that, the scream he made with each strike call was more obnoxious than funny.
It was loud—like a cat getting caught in an electric fence. It was distracting . . . the kind of yell that jars you down to the bones.
“That umpire was annoying,” I said to Jenny that night. She stared at me in disbelief.
“Mother,” she said disgustedly, “he was deaf.”
Well, I felt like an idiot . . . . kind of like that sick feeling you get when you talk about someone to someone else without knowing the two are sisters. Sure, I could make an excuse and say I didn’t know, but that shouldn’t have mattered.
It was unkind.
It was uncaring.
It was rude.
It was unnecessary—like most unkind, uncaring and rude things people say and do.
I judged him without knowing him.
We all judge people without knowing them.
We look at how they raise their kids and say “they should know better.” We look at how they dress and say “don’t they care?” We look at how heavy they are and say “they shouldn’t eat so much.”
We say it all without ever considering what may be going on in their lives.
Maybe that father who is cross at his child in the store hasn’t slept because he’s working two jobs to make ends meet. Maybe that woman dresses the way she does because all the extra money in the house is going toward Christmas presents for the kids. Maybe that weight gain is caused by cancer treatments or medication.
You just never know.
Things are rarely as they seem.
We would do better to accept what people give us as their best effort that day. Maybe it isn’t up to the
quality we think it should be, but
maybe that’s the best they can