Crystal Hodges- Staring is Not Caring
Eating lunch today, I found myself being stared at by a man at a table across from me. He was obviously intrigued by my facial difference and curious. But here's the thing - his way of expressing his curiosity was making me very uncomfortable. For the first time in my life, I found myself texting and asking my mom, "Is it okay if I ask to be moved to another table?" Instead, I stayed where I was seated. Ignoring his stares, I thought, "How can I make the most out of this moment?" So I got brave and went outside my comfort zone...And I wrote him a note: "Hi. My name is Crystal. You've spent a good amount of time staring at me during the last hour. It's fine to be curious about my facial difference, but staring isn't caring. For the future - please never let your curiosity get in the way of your kindness. I'm a human first." As I was leaving, I asked to pay the table's bill. And I don't say that to brag, or to say, "Look what amazing thing I did to someone who was being unkind." I paid for their meal, and I'm telling you about my action because if I'm going to encourage them to be kind - I wanted to set the example. I wanted them to see that they have the ability to choose how they react to a situation, whether they see someone who looks "different," and they have the right to always choose kindness - even when someone is being unkind.
As I was leaving, the waitress promised to deliver my note, not knowing the content of my penmanship. In the midst of my rushed handwriting, I am hoping that he takes my mere words to heart and soaks them in. I'm praying that the next person he sees with a body difference, he's a little kinder and more understanding. Cause, y'all - staring isn't caring.
Written by Crystal Hodges, April 13, 2018
Taken from www.crystalhodges.com
Crystal Hodges is a speaker, writer and blogger from Fresno, California. The 25-year-old is known for her sassy, passionate, funny, kind and wise voice on such topics as bullying and cyberbullying, self-acceptance and celebrating differences. One of Crystal’s differences—the large port-wine stain on her face—is immediately obvious. Less so is the rare medical syndrome that accompanies it, an inherited neurological skin disorder called Sturge-Weber Syndrome, requiring frequent medical treatment.
Yet growing up amid supportive family members and friends, Crystal never had a problem accepting who she was or calmly answering the inquiries she received from curious strangers.
Then something unexpected and painful happened.
In 2014, without her permission, Crystal’s face was turned into an internet meme that went viral to over 30 million people worldwide.
To finish Crystal's story or to learn more about her, go to www.crystalhodges.com and click the About tab!
Read both of the listed scriptures. Think about the qualities listed.
In her reaction, Crystal demonstrated qualities such as kindness, peace and compassion.
With mindset of kindness, peace and compassion, what are other ways you could handle a tough situation like Crystal's?
Lord, you are a compassionate and loving Father. We want to be more like you and react more like you. We confess that there are times we want to be unkind, when someone is unkind to us. They hurt us, so we want to hurt them back. We know that doesn't honor you. Please help us to show qualities like kindness, compassion, and peace in tough situations. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to be our helper. We love you and praise you for being an almighty God. In Jesus Name, Amen.