In order not to interrupt the memorial service for a dear friend, I decided to visit the ladies room prior to its start. I received instructions as to the restroom’s location from an attendant and made my way down the appropriate hallway only to encounter a locked door. It was there a gentleman stopped to ask me if he could help. While I was explaining the situation to him, a woman approached us and offered alternate directions.
I thanked her for her assistance and proceeded. After passing an empty desk that I concluded belonged to the church secretary, I reached my destination. The desk was still empty as I left the office and I assumed that the woman who had offered me assistance earlier was the usual occupant of the desk but was probably now busy assisting the church pastor with last minute details pertaining to the service.
I made my way back into the sanctuary and found my seat. As my friend’s family walked down the aisle to their reserved section, a woman dressed in a beautiful liturgical robe stepped behind the podium. The woman, whom I had erroneously assumed was the church secretary, was the pastor of the church. She proceeded to deliver a beautiful eulogy during which my mind revisited the brief scenario that played out prior to the service. The thought that “things are not always as they seem” kept dancing around in my head.
More often than not, we are quick to judge people and situations by putting our own spin on what we think is fact. In the case of this situation, I was totally wrong and totally surprised I was wrong. I went to the service to pay respects to and bid farewell to a sweet friend but learned a quick lesson in doing so. I learned that if we were able to dig deeper or had the ability to view things from a different angle, perhaps we wouldn’t be so hasty in coming to our own conclusions. Conclusions that are not always correct.
May each of us be aware that things are not always as they seem. There may very well be a side we cannot see, a story we do not know and a truth we have yet to discover. With that knowledge, perhaps our hearts will be kinder, our remarks softer and our judgment non-existent.