“If you have so many defects, why are you surprised to find defects in others?” — St. Josemaria Escriva
I took my five youngest kids to Adoration this morning. (We homeschool and we’re in the habit of taking a weekly ‘field trip’ on Wednesdays to visit Jesus and swing by the grocery store.) It’s a silent Adoration chapel, and my 3 and 5 year olds aren’t so good at being silent, so we only ever stay for a few minutes. Five or ten is usually the max.
My 5 year old plopped himself down in one of the rocking chairs and started rocking. There were several older folks in the chapel and I wondered if the squeek-squeek, squeek-squeek from the rocking chair would bother them, but then I just looked at Jesus and guessed that it didn’t really matter, for five or ten minutes.
Well, after about sixty seconds one of the old ladies got up from her chair, went over to my son, and started holding his chair still so he could no longer rock it. Sigh.
I thought older people were supposed to have developed a higher tolerance to all the little annoyances that life can throw at you. I was disappointed and offended that a woman twice as old as myself, most likely with children and grandchildren of her own, would care so much about a squeeky chair that she’d physically prevent a 5 year old from keeping himself calm in Adoration by rocking. For heaven’s sake, it was a rocking chair. You’re supposed to rock in a rocking chair. If it was that loud, why have it in the chapel at all?
Yes, I was, and am, upset. Rude old woman. She should have left my kid and his chair alone.
But, wait. So this lady got annoyed and overreacted. I’ve gotten annoyed at little things and overreacted too. In fact, isn’t that what I’m doing right now…? Such a little thing! And yet, I’m grumpy about it.
It’s like the old saying: every time you point your finger at someone else, three of your own fingers are pointing right back at you.
Judge not, lest you too shall be judged! And, let him who is without sin throw the first stone.
Those stones we throw can bounce right back at us.