I spent the morning at an old lady’s house waiting for the doctor to make a house-call.
Eventually the door bell rang and standing there was a young man in his late twenties wearing jeans, a tartan style red shirt with no tie, and a sports jacket.
“I’m doctor Grange,” said he.
I let him in without a word and the old lady said: “You’re not Doctor Stuart; he’s my doctor you know!”
“Doctor Stuart is away, I’m new with the medical practice,” replied the young man as I left the room to give them some privacy.
As I waited in the hall I thought about this young man and, I must confess, I took an instant dislike to him. A doctor in jeans, indeed! And so young, what can he possibly know about medicine; he’s probably hardly ever practiced, still in diapers and just out of school.
Then it occurred to me. A light bulb switched on within my head and a message flashed in huge letters.
What a terrible thing prejudice is.
Just because he is young doesn’t make him a bad doctor. He’s probably the best qualified from his University and since he must have recently entered into practice his knowledge must be really up to date. Unlike an older doctor perhaps. (More prejudice.)
And so what if he’s wearing jeans? He’s probably off-duty and was advised by his practice to visit this old lady in the absence of her regular doctor. He obviously doesn’t attend work dressed like that.
You know, it’s human nature to be prejudiced. We all have our likes and dislikes and we react differently to peoples’ appearances, attire, age, accents, and the multitude of other feelings we have towards each other.
We’d do well to be aware of this part of our human nature and learn to keep it under control.
When Jesus walked this earth, He must have met many poor people whose clothes were dirty and torn. Lepers too, as well as prostitutes and evil-doers of all kinds. He didn’t use our prejudices in order to avoid them and judge them.
Instead, He used pity, compassion and love to help them to a better life.