This past summer I decided to get serious about my weight and health. After some success on my own, things stalled so I paid $39 for a specific diet plan. It included access to a private FaceBook group.

It was a portal to an entire culture I didn’t know.

There were literally hundreds of participants, most of whom had dieted throughout their lives and yet were still dramatically overweight. They were so committed, they would sometimes eat only one meal a day, or fast for several days. Many had already lost 50 or 100 pounds.

In the privacy of the group they shared their ‘non-scale victories.’
They celebrated things like taking a first airline flight—having avoided them for years because asking for a seat extender was too mortifying. They were able to stop using walkers and canes. They left behind multiple medications on their doctor’s advice.

I saw it was also a world of pain.
I recognized that each one of those victories also represented long-standing and deeply felt pain. Furthermore, some of them were obviously Christians. That meant that every time they were rejected, humiliated, or hurt, the Holy Spirit within them wept too.

What about me?
A short time later I was in a mall and passed by an obese woman and smiled. It dawned on me how much warmer I now felt toward her. That was quickly followed by the realization that this change must mean I had subconsciously held negative preconceptions before.

My conscience ached.
I wondered . . . In the past have I omitted, underestimated, or hurt these people whom Jesus loves? Again and again, Jesus demonstrated that He enjoyed being with people that the rest of society ignored. In fact, He honoured and respected them.

I want to go and do likewise.