It was mid-summer and we were hot and sweaty from a couple hours of the adult soccer league. My sister still giggles at our team name, "The Frog Warriors" and since I didn't pick it I didn't give it a second thought. But I guess there is some self-deprecation to be on a team with such a regal name. And low expectations.
Playing soccer was just fun for me, in my 20's... in the off-season of skiing. Many on this team also worked at our local ski hill in central Wisconsin. (Notice I said hill, not mountain, but fun nonetheless.)
So, our co-ed soccer team was matched against an all-ladies group. But the game had stopped abruptly when the ball got kicked into the sidelines - into a bunch of kids right next to the field. Some of the kids seemed hurt enough that a couple of Moms quickly ran over to them.
"Why would you even bring your kids to this?" came out of my mouth to the girl next to me, who didn't have kids either.
Overheard, a woman behind me said "Do you have kids?"
"Then you don't understand."
What more needs to be said? I didn't understand. We cannot project our opinions on how we would do things without actually being in their place, their shoes, their stage, or at least similar circumstances of life.
It's tough to REALLY know where someone is coming from. We can ask a lot of questions if we actually care to get to know them. We can watch where their emotions are based and what passions they have that move them to action.
But sympathy and understanding and space are needed more than identical decision-making. If we can give people space to make decisions differently than we would, we can grow our understanding of them and in grasping the immense scope of ways to live in this world.
In many areas of the Bible, God helps us see how generous we are to be with others.
"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." Phillippians 2:2-4
"With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:2-3
Then I like how God says be good to everyone, but especially to our brothers & sisters in Christ...
"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Galations 6:10
Recently, I read a blog about discussing that maybe we are all here just to make one another's lives better. To serve the people around us. In these verses, it sounds like our Father God is saying the same thing, and to remember to always praise Him for his everlasting goodness.
"While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being." Psalm 146:2
Today, if I were in a soccer league, I would probably bring my kids.
And the non-moms would say "why would you even bring your kids to this?" And I would just smile.