Truth is (day 1)….

It’s Ash Wednesday.  That escaped most of my thoughts today – until tonight at church.  Maybe there’s a good part to all my Catholic friends who get ashes early in the morning.  But, I have my smudge now.  I have my mark.  I am claimed.

Tonight was about truth-telling – leaving our masks behind and spending 40 days in truth.  It’s about facing our fears, our doubts, our anger, our sins……ourselves.

My truth today lies in judgment.  Today I met a women who was pleasant, kind and intelligent.  Today I saw a woman with a physical disability.  Every positive thought that came to my mind was followed by a patronizing head-tilt-that’s-too-bad thought.  Thankfully, this was all in my head and not out loud.  But – it was in my head!  I saw the disability first.  After that, it trumped all my other assumptions about this woman.  I did not doubt her, but I did doubt her ability to fulfill certain tasks.

I have always been an advocate for the underdog, the “least likely to succeed,” the one who was always chosen last for teams.  I never shy away from someone with adaptive equipment of any kind.  I’ve worked with adults and children with physical, emotional, and developmental challenges.  I always thought I was one of the good guys that didn’t see people based on their limitations, but rather as someone in the midst of a journey – their own journey – to wonderful new accomplishments and potential.

Today I saw the limitation of someone else.  I unfairly labeled someone as “less than.”  Really – it doesn’t even matter that it was done unfairly and without evidence.  I labeled someone as “less than.”

Today, my truth is ugly.  The black mark on my forehead tonight is a reflection of the black mark on my heart from today.

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