everyone has a story

Today, I found out that a good friend of mine suffered through at least a year with bulimia. Her weight plummeted, she would barely eat, and she was hurting terribly. Now she has overcome it and is strong in her faith. However, one thing she wrote stands out to me strongly:

She talked about how on the outside, everyone thought she was happy and healthy, always carefree, but how on the inside, she was in so much pain.

I am sad that my friend had to go through this terrible eating disorder. I am sad that she thought people would judge her (we have no excuses to judge, but I understand her fears). I am also sad – and ashamed – for any and every second she ever felt alone.

We – or at least I – spend too much time criticizing others and making them live up to our expectations of them, instead of just loving freely like Jesus did. I pray that Jesus’s followers are reminded today that mercy triumphs over judgment, that His love knows no end. I pray that we ask our fellow sisters and brothers, “How are you?” without expecting positivity and cheer; that we dig deeper; that we pray and then pray some more.

Let us not judge the book by its cover. Let us ask for and then listen to people’s stories. Let us love without reservation.

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