Last night I went out to do the grocery shopping. I know, exciting way to spend a Friday night. I have a lot going on this weekend so I decided to get it out of the way.
I got to Walmart shortly before 7:00 and started about my business of checking things off the list. At five minutes to seven someone came over the speakers with "We have a CODE ADAM. We are looking for a three year old boy, long dark curly hair, blue jeans and tank top." Immediately I saw lots of Walmart workers set out walking the isles looking for the boy.
It was nice to know they were on top of it.
But my heart was sick. I couldn't imagine losing a kid in walmart. What a nightmare!
And I found myself looking too as I shopped.
It was probably five to ten minutes later when I realized the workers were STILL looking and they announced the CODE ADAM again. I began to pray... for the boy, for the parents, for those looking. Ten minutes lost in Walmart is a long time. He should have been found by then with that many people looking.
I was ready to start crawling on the floor looking under racks and stuff. Where was this boy? The poor parents! They were probably sick with worry. Frantic. And the boy might just be terrified. Or gone. Did someone snatch him up? You never know.
And so I continued to look as I shopped and I found myself thinking that if that was my kid I would be going crazy! I would be tearing the place apart. Demanding to see security video. Running in to the men's bathrooms unannounced. I couldn't imagine what the parents were going through.
And I couldn't believe what I was overhearing!
I heard some workers say in a "this is ridiculous attitude" that "I heard that this is the second time this person has lost their kid." And while I was at the checkout the people behind me had their judgements too. All better-than-that with their comments of "how does someone just lose a kid!?" And they actually had a little laugh over it.
SOMEONE HAS LOST THEIR CHILD!! And you want to make jokes and laugh and talk like you are so much better?
Well I say be careful how you judge others.
Be careful when thinking you are so much better. Especially if you have never had small children!
They are small! They are often not in your peripheral vision. They are quick and can sneak away from you in an instant. And once they are around that corner... they could be gone.
And we don't know anything else about the parents. Did they have a cart load of other small children? What was going on in their lives? If someone close to them had died recently that would definitely have you distracted in a Walmart... but kids gotta eat so one has to shop.
WE DON'T KNOW! So why do we judge so quickly!?
I was sick to my stomach. I left Walmart about 35 minutes after the first CODE ADAM announcement and they still had not found the little boy. This was not a time to judge a parent. This was a time to find a little boy.
It could honestly happen to anyone.
My parents are great parents. Always have been. But one time we were at a large church for a baptism and my one brother decided he was going to hide. He hid himself in the pews and didn't come out. As things were ending we all loaded up in the van and headed home... without him. That means that Mom, Dad, me and my other brother and sister ALL left him behind without realizing it. IT HAPPENS.
TO GOOD PEOPLE.
Get over it. Stop thinking you are soooo much better than everyone else. And start offering something helpful.
Ok. I just had to get that out because it really bothered me. I really hope the boy was found last night. And I really hope that none of us every has to experience what those parents did last night.
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.