Sometimes a quote comes at me and rings the bell of my heart, resounding like the meditation bowl we ring during worship in our sanctuary. While perusing the materials from Soul Matters on the theme of Love, this quote from Mother Theresa landed right in my solar plexus: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

I judge people more than I’d like to. Maybe we all do. I wish I didn’t. Maybe we all wish we didn’t. Judging people takes up a lot of time and space in my head, crowding out the opportunity to really meet someone. I’m trying to become more aware of my judgment tendency. Whatever I am thinking about someone, it may not be true. I observe how my initial judgments blur and change as I get to know someone—how love replaces ignorance.

What if we went about our days with love as our first assumption? As we tend to each other at church, gradually returning from two years of physical separation, love is what we assume as we behold each other and find out who we are now. Love knits us together. Love pulls at the raveled thread as we soften, come undone, let ourselves feel and be vulnerable to all we’ve been through.

If I judge you and how you are doing in any given moment, I have no time to love you, because my mind is full of separations. If I love you, my mind is open and the image of you is like a painting in progress, colors changing as love reveals true knowing.

I feel so fortunate to be on this journey of love and knowing with you.

Dena McPhetres, Associate Minister

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