As I watched Todd Bridges on the Oprah show yesterday, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I immediately started praying, asking God to forgive me of my judgmental ways. You’re probably wondering, “Why the heck would I be asking for forgiveness in regards to Todd Bridges?”
Well, I remember some years back I saw a mug shot of him on TV. Was it on Inside Edition? Oh well, I can’t remember the show right now, but I clearly remember the story being about the demise of child stars. He was one being focused on. I remember looking at his mug shot in horror and disgust. I actually exclaimed, “Ewww! What a loser. He looks a hot mess…like a dirty crackhead.” I actually had a crush on his character Willis through the television back in the day, so some how I felt disappointed on a personal level. Nonetheless, I had my preconceived judgments.
So when I first turned on Oprah and saw him sitting in the seat, I must admit…I had an immediate Celebrity Rehab no-sympathy moment. If any of you have watched that show on VH-1, you probably know what I mean. Of course you have the ones who genuinely want to get clean, but many of them are obstinate and have no desire to get clean and are only there at the advice of their agents and managers because it is a good career move for exposure to be on the show. Hence you’ll see those same people back on again the following season, back off the wagon.
Anyway, I kept watching as he started talking about the period of his childhood during his time on the sitcom, Different Strokes. He chatted a bit about his new book. Then he spoke the words that compelled me to stop folding clothes and give him my undivided attention: “My mother’s boyfriend sexually abused me for years.” I saw the pain in his eyes; the tears as he recounted those years of frequent rape and molestation. His mother was in the audience. The pain in her face…the guilt she had to bear for not seeing the signs. The devastation of Todd’s biological father not believing his story about the abuse. Man oh man, it was too much for me. I cried for about thirty minutes straight. His childhood was stolen. His innocence was lost. He was broken. Confused. Lonely. Feeling hopeless. Yet, he still went to work everyday, with his perfect comedic timing…making the whole world laugh while he was dying inside.
He said that becoming a man was not an automatic delete button for his past. He wanted the pain and the horrible memories to go away. Although the hurt was still there after his high wore off, the drugs (Cocaine, then Crack, then Meth) was the only thing that relieved the pain. After he finished talking about the extensively reckless nature of his adulthood… the drugs (selling and using), sex addiction, violence, pimping, and more; with an exhausted look in her face, Oprah said, “Wow, I don’t know how you made it out of that alive.” He answered simply, “God.” I plan to buy his book today.
The bottom line is this: Everything is not always as it seems. Some things are not so black & white; there are often shades of gray. Let’s be real for a second…
When is the last time you said to yourself, “Why won’t that homeless dude get a job?” -or- “She’s pregnant out of wedlock again?” -or- “Her kids look dirty…she’s trifling.” -or- “Why does she dress like a boy?” -or- WHATEVER uninformed, judgemental things we say!?
Before we draw our own conclusions about someone and their situation, just remind yourself that there are a bunch of shades of gray that could be keeping them bound. We have to be extra careful to pray and show God’s love to people regardless of their circumstance. If they see Christ in us, they may see light at the end of the tunnel. We also must not be self-righteous b/c sin is sin. (John 8:7) You and I each have things in our past that could make a lot of people saw, “Ewww” as well! We are not above anyone and to be quite honest, we are not super-human and can be in anyone’s shoes depending on what circumstances are thrown our way. Some of us are a paycheck away from homelessness. A tragedy away from getting hooked on prescription pain killers. A year away from being diagnosed with a mental illness. So, we should not be prideful but compassionate. Jesus is Lord and He is the way out of despair and the way in to heaven. He is our strength.
Let’s examine our hearts and please God by doing better in this area. I know I will.
*Wednesdays w/ iNDIGO*

About boldandfab

Where Being A Witness Meets Chic Sophistication! Where Every Word Has Profound Meaning. It's all us...ALL REAL! B & F.
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13 Responses to YOU HAVE NO IDEA!

  1. Bianca says:

    I was watching this episode of Oprah yesterday for the second time and my heart ached for him. He’s been through so much … most of which I could not even imagine. But God! I’m happy to see that he’s making sure his kids have the kind of father he always wanted. Excellent blog sis!

  2. iNDIGO says:

    Thanks B.

  3. Alyssa says:

    Wow I don’t think I heard of him but I never seen Different Strokes before. I’m glad that he didn’t let the devil lead him to death, and tried Jesus. God is truly the answer if only the world would realize that. But like you said we are suppose to be a light to the world and remember that those who are living on the streets, some of them did not choose to be in that situation. I remind myself to be grateful for what I have each day because I could end up like them. Prayer is the key to peace, eternal life, and our source of communication to Jesus. Thank you so much for this article. Can’t wait for next Wed. God bless!

  4. S. Carter says:

    Sis, Lil Brian was talking about this after the “Friday Night Live” at the church…He(My 15yrs old son) was saying that we NEVER KNOW what people have FACED or COME ACROSS in their lives and WE should NOT judge/look DOWN on ANYONE. You TRULY ministered to my heart b/c EVERYONE has a STORY to tell INCLUDING ME…Thanks sis for the REMINDER!!!!

    S. Carter

  5. iNDIGO says:

    Indeed sis. Thank you for reading.

  6. Ray says:

    I shared your facebook page a few weeks ago on my page in support of Monisha and someone reach out to me today in my inbox inquiring about the “female Christian group” that I posted about 2 weeks ago. So I searched my email to find the website to provide it to her. As I finally got a chance to check out this website, I came across this article and would like to commend you on your writing style and thoughts. It is awesome. I am going to add this site to my favorites because I simply love it. You ladies are an inspiration. You are doing God’s will and great job!

  7. boldandfab says:

    this was an awesome read and definitely forced me to think about how i can sometimes be judgmental even with students. It is so critical to keep Jesus as our example..and follow His lead.
    So glad God isn’t the way we are!!!

  8. iNDIGO says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement RAY. God is constantly amazing me in the writings of the six of us and I praise Him! Praise God for His people (like yourself) who are spreading the word about what God is doing thru us on this site.

  9. shauna ellis says:

    I have judged and been judge by many people. AS i get older i have come to realize I must live for GOD and only him and when i find myself judging someone i really try to put myself in their shoes…..and u know what? I cant. I only can walk in the shoes GOD gave me! And instead of judging that person love them even more…….I stuggle with this especially dealing with the younger generation.

  10. iNDIGO says:

    Good point Shauna. You can only walk in your own shoes!! Thanks for your continued support of the Bodl and Fabulous! I pray you are continually blessed.

  11. iNDIGO says:

    @ A.C.C.: Girl, if God treated us like we so often do others, we woulda been wiped out of here a L-O-N-G time ago!!! lol. I agree with you 100%. Thank you B&F sister.

  12. Mom Dukes says:

    I do remember “Willis” and had no idea he had such a horrible childhood. I too will read his his book so I’ll know how to lift Todd and his family up in prayer.. Thanks for sharing this truthful insight, INDIGO!

  13. iNDIGO says:

    Thanx Mom Dukes!

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