I open the door and get quickly discouraged.
So, I shut the door.
And yet, I can walk to that same door, open it and see shelves stocked with delicious goodness! Spaghetti sauces and brownie mixes. A bag of plump potatoes and onions as big as my head. Cajun spices that make everything taste better.
Same pantry. Same door. Different vision.
It's what I choose to look at. It's what I choose to see.
Sometimes, life gets the better of me. All I see is the crumbs. All I see is the outdated crap that should be tossed away and yet I can't seem to figure out how to trash it.
Yet, at other times I have no trouble seeing past all that nonsense to gaze at all the good stuff!
When you think of it, we're all kind of like a walking pantry. Instead of food, our shelves are stocked with happiness and peace and fear and sadness and all the experiences that we've gone through in our lives. We get invited to peer into the pantry of our neighbors and co-workers and the other parents at the school - and we have a choice as to what we're going to take stock of. What we'll notice. What we can't seem to look past.
I know I should clean out my (personal) pantry - and I do from time to time. But a lot of the time when you open my door you'll just see a scattered mess. Things falling off the shelves all crazily displayed. And maybe you'll pass judgment and wonder why on earth I don't just straighten everything up so I can look as well put together as you.
Someday I'll toss out the stuff that shouldn't be stored and get rid of the stuff that's outdated and expired. I'll group together all the happiness and all the joy and stand all the boxes of strength side-by-side! And it'll be good.
But today, well, today my pantry is a mess. Today, if you can't see past the stuff that doesn't seem to be worth anything to you, you have a choice: Look past it and take notice of the good stuff, or close my door and walk on.
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge,
the one who is able to save and destroy.
But you - who are you to judge your neighbor?