Monday, June 25, 2012

Judgement Calls

This morning's sermon was about making judgements.  The gospel passage today was from Matthew 7:1-5. "Do not judge and you will not be judged..."  The pastor of my dad's church talked about the judgments he had experienced and had made on his recent holiday.  I could totally relate.

Afterwards, another early mass goer was telling Fr. T about one of the masses this past Sunday, which had lacked a priest, so a deacon in attendance had stepped forward to lead a communion service.  I quipped about how that was commonplace where I live, that we were lucky to have a priest.  Fr. T was surprised, as he thought I lived nearby.  So much for my ego, in assuming he knew that I was the "daughter visiting from Arizona".  So, after explaining that I was just staying with dad for a few months, I went on with a brief synopsis of our mission situation in Northern Arizona.

At breakfast, I lamented the situation again.  Didn't the pastor recognize whom he saw regularly and whom he didn't?  Of course, I thought, how busy Fr. T must be, with the responsibilities of a parish of nearly 1,000 people.  How could he possibly keep track of one visitor?  Another judgement.

So, Miss Important, here, next realized how little I know about some of those in my own parish.  I want to be known to a certain extent, yet do I take the time to really know and care about others?  Am I so busy, running here and there, that I don't have time to chat now and then, for a few minutes after Mass, or when I see someone in town?  Surely, that's one of the reasons to live in a small town.

I'm also learning to translate it into some of my experiences during my soujourn here in the Big City.  After hockey practice the other day, my son and I walked through a street fair that was taking place next to the ice rink.  All kinds of wonderful antiques were on display,  but I thought that some were a bit pricey.  I took the opportunity to ask one vendor about a piece that I didn't recognize.  He went on the tell me about the wall-mount coffee grinder, with a large glass jar for the beans, "they used to buy them in big bulk bags, because they didn't have 'em all ground up in cans like we do now".  (Yes, I knew that, it's how I buy mine, but I held my tongue, wanting to hear more of his story.)  "Then they used to put up their extra produce in jars and so they'd have an empty jar that would fit right here", pointing to a bracket under the grinder, "to catch the grindings".  He went on to explain how they boiled their coffee and poured it through a cheesecloth, etc.  Really a wonderful story.  It also made me realize something else.  I asked his wife if they had gotten most of their inventory from the midwest and she confirmed that they did buy from sales on the other side of the country.  Suddenly the price seemed more reasonable, and I noticed that most of their items were also very clean and in good condition, which was also rare in my experience with antiques here in the west.

So by curbing my initial judgement to bypass their table as just another overpriced junk pile, I not only acquired valuable new information to add to my homesteading knowledge, I also had a pleasant conversation with a couple whom I would never otherwise have known to be interesting and wonderful.

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