The other day, my husband and I celebrated my daughter's 14th birthday by taking her to a matinee of the movie of her choice, "Julie & Julia" (I highly recommend it). The theater uses reserved seating, so as soon as we got there we began looking for where we were suppose to sit. When we located our row, I became concerned, because right next to our seats, at the end of the row, sat a very obese woman, who was taking up two seats with all of her food, including one of the ones we were to use. This concerned me because I usually cannot make it through a whole movie without getting up to use the restroom and I could see that this would be difficult. We all pushed past this lady, but, rather than have her move her food from the one seat where I would have been sitting, we offered to bump down an extra seat so she could have the space. However, shortly thereafter, the person who had the ticket for our extra seat came in and we had to move over anyway.
As I sat there next to this lady, I began to think about what it is like for her to sit in a body that is weighed down by hundreds of pounds. I wondered if her joints hurt or if it is difficult to walk. I envisioned the prejudice she must run into, aware of it or not. from being an obese person in a thin-obsessed society. As I sat contemplating these things, my heart really hurt for her. I could see that at least on this occasion she was eating food that would only add to her health problems. Had she given up trying to be healthy? Was the hill to steep to climb? Did weight loss seem completely impossible? Or was this a one-time treat while on the road to a healthier lifestyle? Does she have friends? Is she lonely? Depressed? Suddenly, I began to pray in my heart for this woman, for her body and for her soul. I prayed that the Lord would help her in her struggles and that he would bring kindly people into her life to assist her. I prayed that she would feel loved and treasured, to know how special she is to Him.
During the movie, my seatmate and I began exchanging comments about the film, especially the funny parts, of which there are many. I know this sounds funny, but we kind of bonded during the movie. She had what sounded like a North Carolinian accent. She was warm and very funny. It felt comfy sitting next to her.
At the end of the film, I wanted to ask her more about herself, but she hurried up and out of the theater before the press of the crowd could prevent her. So, my friend left without my being able to say good-bye. It's funny, but having prayed for her, I felt a tie to her and a concern for her well-being. I thanked the Lord for the circumstances that led to our being put in seats next to each other. And I carry her in my heart even now, days later.
I am reminded how important it is to be kind and loving with others and to refrain from judgement. It requires slowing down and taking time to find out about people. I am thankful I wasn't rushed that day so that I had time to contemplate this sweet lady. It somehow made me a part of her life, if only for a few houris.
God bless you, friend, where ever you are, whatever you are doing. God keep you in His Grace, now and always.