By Darci Claggett
Cherished Women’s Blog Writer
The stench of rooster excrement filled my nostrils as I entered the dirt filled arena. The stadium was filled with eager Filipinos waging on which rooster would win the fight. The roosters waited for a turn in the ring as their owners inspected the razor sharp spurs attached to their feet.
My naïve American bred eyes waited in disbelief.
Let loose in the ring, the birds slashed each other until only one was left standing. The winner would one day fight again, while the loser would be the main course for dinner that night.
Culture shock hit me like a ton of bricks. Not only was cockfighting legal in the Philippines, it had been a huge Filipino sport for hundreds of years.
Up until that moment, all I had seen was the beauty of the land, the love of the families, the laughter and contentment of the people.
But the beauty of land and culture became clouded by my blazing judgements.
How could they call that a sport? How could they do such a cruel thing to those roosters? Why would they place bets and earn a living off of this horrendous act of violence? How can they cheer on killing and death? How could this be LEGAL?
My mind ran rampant with judgmental thoughts. I freely handed over my thoughts to the enemy not even realizing I had opened the door to the spirit of judgement.
I lost sight of the beauty and love that surrounded me.
I lost sight of the joy of being in a foreign country.
The enemy is sly like that. He knows how quickly we can fall. If we don’t take our thoughts captive, they can spiral out of control until we lose the perspective of God’s richness and blessings.
I wonder how many of us lose sight of the beauty in our everyday lives because we are judging others?
How many of us lose sight of love in the midst of misunderstanding?
When the cloud of judgement comes rolling in, we must recognize it, take it captive and hand it over to our Father who is the ultimate judge.
We may not agree with what others do or understand the culture they live in, but we can agree to love one another, and that’s all God asks of us.