Wednesday, November 11, 2015
This afternoon, I was stopped at a stoplight behind a car with a yellow "Baby on Board" sign suction-cupped to their rear window. Confession: these signs used to annoy me. "Oh my gosh, who cares that you have a baby?!" I would think to myself every time I saw one. They were right up there with that perfect-looking stick figure family that made we want to get one of these for my car window.
But that was before I learned the purpose for these signs -- in case of an accident, they are a signal to emergency responders that they should look for an infant in the back seat of the car. Not so annoying now, are they?
More information changed my perspective.
Not long ago I was sitting in a ward council (a group of male and female leaders in our local church congregation that meets together regularly to discuss the needs of the ward) and one man shared this thought that struck me deeply: "Imagine we are all climbing a rock wall," he said. "How often do we look at those who are struggling to climb next to us and say things like, 'What is wrong with you? Why aren't you climbing faster? How come you keep falling? Why can't you reach the next foothold? Why aren't you higher already?' when what we should be saying is, 'Here, let me help you! The next foothold is right there -- you can do it! Don't worry, I'll catch you! Take your time, I'll wait for you. It's okay, you can start over. I'm right behind you!'"
We never know what is going on in someone's life or in someone's heart. Even if we have walked a similar path, we haven't walked it in the same shoes. Imagine if we looked at others' signs and, instead of saying, "What is wrong with you?" or firmly declaring that we would never act that way or make those decisions, we said, "I'm here for you. I love you. Take my hand and I'll help you."
Anyone can read a yellow sign, but not everyone knows its true meaning. For example, how many of you thought this blog post was going to be a pregnancy announcement? (Be honest...) There is always more to the story than we can see.
Especially when we refuse to look beyond the first page.