A Revealing Picture

Chinese food eating pajama wearers

I don’t normally take pictures and post them on this blog.  This is mainly because my phone takes crappy pictures and partly because taking pictures is just below waxing my leg hairs on my personal “fun-o-meter.”  There are some images, though, so silly that must be captured and shared.  This is one of those images.

My wife and I had something of a date on Saturday night after our church Valentine’s Dinner with my in-laws watching our children.   Being the wild and crazy couple that we are, we decided to go to Target because living life on the edge is just what we do.  That is where I saw this picture of two young ladies gleefully eating Chinese food in their pajamas.

I have several questions about this picture:

Who eats Chinese food while wearing pajamas? 

Are they eating the Chinese food at night during a pajama party or are they throwing caution to the wind and eating it for breakfast?

If they are eating it for breakfast, what is wrong with them? 

Is that a sleeping mask on the couch/bed between them?  Did one of them wake the other one up and surprise her with Chinese food?  Is that why they are laughing maniacally?  Or did one of them just pass gas?

Who wears that many bracelets with pajamas?

Do they know that eating while laying back like that is a choking hazard?

Is that how you’re supposed to hold chopsticks?

After looking at that picture for a few minutes like my chihuahuas look at me when I am eating popcorn, I finally snapped out of it.  That’s when I realized that I was close to doing something that too many of us do too often.  I was majoring on the minors.  I was taking a simple, innocent picture and making a big deal out of it.  I was making judgements about the picture based upon a narrow view.  This is not really a bad thing to do when looking at a picture, but it is a terrible thing to do when looking at other people.

A co-worker wears clothes that are just a little too tight and we make jokes at her expense. 

Our neighbor lets junk overtake his backyard and we figure he’s just lazy.

Someone in our church has a speech impediment and we question her intelligence.

An acquaintance expresses an unpopular political opinion and we treat him like an outcast.

Again and again assumptions are made and opinions are formed based upon snapshots of what we see and hear.  Taking the time to actually listen to others and trying to see things from a different perspective rarely enters our minds.  We would much rather ridicule and judge.  It’s easier.  Less messy.

We might be missing out on relationships that could be life-changing, joy that be soul-filling.  We could be allowing minor issues keep us from major breakthroughs.

I’m not saying that we should put pajamas on and eat Chinese food together;  I don’t like Chinese food and my pajamas feature holes in various “delicate” places.  What I’m saying is that when we focus on minor differences we might miss major opportunities to give and receive the precious commodity called grace. 

I’ve missed too many of these opportunities.  I don’t want to do it again.

(Is this picture as weird as I think it is?  What other questions come to your mind when looking at it?  If what other ways do we judge people and what can we do to stop?  Share away!)

23 thoughts on “A Revealing Picture

  1. You need to come to New York City. Our Chinese food is awesome!

    With that said, I agree on your point that we often let any difference of opinion be an obstacle to build relationships. When I know that Christ was a friend of doctors, lawyers, fishermen, tax collectors, bloggers (OK, I made that one up) I get the idea that Jesus didn’t let any little difference become an obstacle. He just loved hanging out with people.

    By the way, I so would love to eat in bed, but my wife would kill me!

  2. I’ve never smiled like that after eating chinese food.

    Appearances for sure man. You’d be amazed at how people look at me if I wear a cut-off shirt exposing my tatoos. You’d think I was scum, but the same people are super nice if they are covered up.

  3. I like the post Matt. yes they do appear to be holding the chopsticks correctly and you know us gals we could be laughing at anything.

  4. Matt, I had two nice big, belly laughs when I read your post.
    “…like my chihuahuas look at me when I am eating popcorn…”
    “…feature holes in various “delicate” places.”


    I’m the king of making judgements in my head, yet not saying anything because it would be “the wrong thing to do”… yet, I’m just as judgemental in my head.

    • Head judgements may be better than said judgements, but they still effect how we interact with people. I’m like that, too, though. And my chihuahuas loooovvvveeee popcorn–even more than cat poo.

  5. This might be my favorite post of yours. I love to laugh and think at the same time. It’s my favorite. +1 for Pastor Matt

    P.S. I’m confident that the girl on the left farted. I know that look well.

  6. Matt, thanks for the gentle and oh-so-subtle reminder that we all have to remind ourselves not to judge others. I don’t think this means we can’t be intrigued by something strange someone is doing. But when we begin to make assumptions based on their activity (she’s eating Chinese food in pajamas! She must be a drunk!), it can be detrimental to our lives. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I know a thing or two about majoring in the minors. I had an accountability group I was in blow up because I expressed a conviction about the age of the earth. (kinda blogged a little about that today). Talk about casting aspersions!
    So much for “in the essentials, unity….”

    Thing is, I’ve been guilty of it myself too many times to count, and have found that the logs that come out of my eye often smell like the logs that come out of… someplace else. 😉

    Thanks for this funny, poignant, powerful word, Matt!

    • It’s amazing what we choose to divide over. There are a few things that are essential and a whole lot of things that aren’t. Hopefully we will continue to do a better job of not confusing the two.

  8. I have to say, I see nothing wrong with the picture at all. My friend and I regularly hang out in the PJs to eat the Chinese (food).

    But, I understand that my perspective is not everyone’s perspective and the moral absolutes you have regarding Chinese food for breakfast are not going to be mine.

    If one of them farted, they wouldn’t be laughing like that. Trust this: even in the company of other women, farting is frowned upon.

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