Panera Publications, Part 1

I find myself in a state of reflection as I comfortably sit at the Panera by Emory’s campus. I’m delving into my second day of seminary and I’m beyond excited. (A full post on my first day is in progress. To be posted soon-ish.) I came to Panera to eat a light lunch and read. Instead, I am blogging. I’m blogging right at this moment because what I just witnessed strikes me as somewhat bothersome. The table next to me outside on the patio became quickly occupied by four Emory female students. I could not help but listen in on their conversation, as one of the girls (we’ll call her Amy), was complaining about the conversation she had with her dad. Evidently, he called Amy to inform her that he could not get the Audi A7 she wanted. Instead, he purchased a 3-series BMW. She was furious. This was quite obvious and noticeable by her choice verbiage she was using in “conversation” with her fellow diners. The conversation subsided as one of the girls changed the subject to talk about her and her family’s soon-to-be vacation home in the Hamptons. At that point, I stuck in my earphones to drown out the rest of the conversation/one-up banter that was going on two feet away from me.

I initially wanted to shake my head in shame and disgust for the table of four girls, as I immediately judged and put them in “that” box. But what I now see is an opportunity for reflection and comprehension. I see four young women who have their own stories. I don’t know those stories; therefore, I don’t know them. And do they even know them? I’m not trying to preach the often overly preached lesson of judging others. I’m affirming to myself the growth that has already started. And I’m hoping they know them and if not, that they come to know them. Cheers to the stories we all have! (Stay tuned for a deeper reflection on day one at Candler.)

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