Have you ever judged someone based on the way they looked and ended up being completely wrong? Me too.
I was on the other side of that situation earlier this week. I wasn’t offended, I’m usually not surprised considering my outward appearance. But this time I actually left someone speechless for a second or two.
Let me set this up for you….
I had an MRI appointment this past Wednesday. I walked in wearing ripped jeans and a tank top. I have blue hair, a nose ring, and large visible tattoos on my arm and chest. I know I look like the opposite of a “normal” person.
Then my intake interview happened, and I’m sure I added to the confusion. She was surprised I was over 30. She thought I was in my mid 20’s. She asked me about my last MRI and I told her I didn’t remember because I took a Xanax and needed a ride home afterwards.
Cue eye roll on that one. (Oh Jeez, she’s one of those.) When actually I just can’t handle prescription drugs because I rarely take them. Also, it was over ten years ago!
So we go into the MRI room, and I’m sitting on the table. She asks me what kind of music I want to listen to.
“We have pretty much everything. Top 40’s, Rock, Pop, whatever you want. It’s Pandora.”
“Do you guys have like a Christian Rock station?”
Blink Blink Blink
“Well, um, ah… We don’t have one on there now but I’m sure we can find something for you.”
Cue the scramble between her and the assistant to find a Christian station on Pandora and then stuttering when asking me if the station is good. It was honestly really uncomfortable. Why was that such a weird request?
Would the reaction have been different if I had chosen any other genre of music?
Do I look that different that it’s surprising I want to hear Christian music? I know I’m not the only Christian who looks like me, and I know the people at my church aren’t totally shocked by the way I look. I’ve actually received more compliments in church about my tattoos and hair than I do out in public.
How am I the only person who’s ever gone in there and asked for a Christian Pandora station?
Back to my MRI appointment, it was relaxing. I’m surrounded by barking and yelling all day. (Toddlers are loud!!) Even though there was a lot of clanking and buzzing, it was nice to be totally secluded with some good Christian tunes and some yoga breathing exercises.
Once it was over, I mentioned to the tech how much I was enjoying the solitude and she yet again raised her eyebrows at me. “She’s a Christian, and a stay at home mom, and a step-mom? I pegged her all wrong.” I can’t read her mind, but that’s what her eyes said.
Wednesday was such a weird experience, but it made me realize something.
I’m helping to change the face of the “Traditional Christian.”
And I love that!
One of the people who helped me get closer to God did the same thing for me. I always thought Christians were crazy and overbearing and judgmental. She was the exact opposite. She was kind, and a really good friend. She didn’t judge me, and she treated me like a person instead of a project. She made me realize I could be normal and Christian. It’s really not that hard!
It’s important that as Christians, we appeal to a large group of people if we want to help others come to the Lord. If we are all the same, then we’ll all just stick together and never spread out our circle of influence.
It opened my eyes to the fact that we all judge a lot but we really never know who we’re judging. And it made me happy that I helped this woman realize that all women wearing ripped jeans, tattoos and brightly colored hair are not the same, nor are all Christians the same!
Edit: I was ready to hit publish on this Saturday night but didn’t for some reason. Then in church on Sunday, a thought bubble appeared during prayer…
“Modesty doesn’t have to be boring.”
Yes! What a concept. I can keep all the important parts covered and still look fun! I can get tattoos and piercings and have them not be offensive. And I can change the color of my hair whenever I want because the skill to do it was a gift that God gave me. And last time I checked, he wants us to use our talents for good!
Final thought before I press “Publish”:
Maybe… God gave me the gift of being different to show others it’s OK to still be you and love Jesus at the same time.
Have you ever judged or been judged because of looks? Were you able to change the person’s opinion or did they change yours? Are you a “nontraditional-looking Christian” too? I would love to hear about it!!