“Don’t judge any woman until you have walked two moons in her moccasins.” -PROVERB
I don’t know about you, but I often steer clear of social media (even for months at a time) because I find that it is so easy to get caught up in the comparison game. My little internal conversations might sound a little something like this… “Why don’t I look like her 2 weeks post partum?! How in the heck….What? That girl’s husband baked her cookies and bought her flowers AGAIN? My husband doesn’t even…Oh my gosh. She got a new dress…again. I’m wearing ratty leggings….again. How is her hair so beautiful and styled all the time! I can barely shower for 3 minutes without being interrupted, let alone sit and style my hair into gorgeous frickin curls every day!” And so it goes, and if you’re anything like me, then you can probably feel my pain.
I remember reading a devotional not too long ago that had the following story that inspired me and made me think twice about the comparison game…
” ‘The Changed Cross is the story that tells of a weary woman who thought that the cross she must bear surely was heavier than those of other people, so she wished that she could choose another person’s instead. When she went to sleep, she dreamed that she was taken to a place where there were many different crosses from which to choose. There were various shapes and sizes, but the most beautiful one was covered with jewels and gold. ‘This I could wear with comfort,’ she said. So she picked it up but her weak body staggered beneath its weight. The jewels and the gold were beautiful, yet they were much too heavy for her to carry.
The next cross she noticed was quite lovely with beautiful flowers entwined around its sculptured form. Surely this was the one for her. She lifted it, but beneath the flowers were large thorns that pierced and tore her skin.
Finally, she came to a plain cross without jewels or any carvings and with only a few words of love inscribed on it. When she picked it up, it proved to be better than all the rest, and the easiest to carry. As she looked at it, she noticed it was bathed in a radiance that fell from heaven. Then she recognized it as her own old cross. She had found it once again, and it was the best of all, and the lightest for her.’
You see, God knows what cross we need to bear, and we never know how heavy someone else’s cross is. ” (Excerpt taken from A Mustard Seed-Devotional)
This story came to mind when this week I came across the old native proverb about “walking in her moccasins” written in my daily planner. Too often we look at others lives coveting and wishing for their lot in life, not always realizing the secret burdens they must carry, the heavy weights that accompany their riches, and the thorns that follow their beauty.
The Bible says in Luke 12:48 that “to whom much is given, much will be required.” Often those who truly have “much” carry the weight of knowing that God will require double the stewardship from them. I think of Moses, how blessed he was in his intimacy and closeness with God…to actually even see a hint of God’s glory and live! Wow! And then we read that because of one small mistake acted out in a (very understandable!) moment of anger, he was denied access into the Promised Land. Yet here that principle comes into play again, Moses was entrusted with some heavy stuff…the secrets of God so to speak and so he was not judged with the same measure as just average Joe down in the Israelite camp. Sometimes when I ask God for more in even a spiritual sense, I am cautious knowing that when I am given more, I will be held to a higher calling and responsibility.
So let us remember this the next time we are so quick to want someone else’s life….their looks, their family, their money, their spiritual giftings….that our cross to bear is perfectly made just for us and our strength, and God gives us exactly what we need in order to best flourish as ourselves.
“What if we said: She’s beautiful but so am I, instead of, ‘She’s beautiful and how do I measure up to her?”