'I didn't expect this', she said as she walked into a house she was considering making her home. 'It's much nicer on the inside than the outside. You know it's one of those houses where you drive by and you think it's not much, but then you walk inside and it surprises you.'
Sadly, we look at people sometimes the same way we look at houses and other material things. Always judging by what we can see rather than looking deeper to see more.
I am glad God looks at the heart.
But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
'What did you think about the color of her hair,' A question I was asked about a grandmother who had a blue streak down the side of her hair. I didn't answer the question, but I should have told that person what I knew about this grandmother. How she was her grandchild's caretaker after his dad, her son had died and she was concerned about his education and his well being. I should have said that. But they already knew.
Why is it we are so quick to judge? By appearance, the color of someone's hair, their clothes they are wearing, whether they are overweight--too skinny--too much makeup--not enough makeup--dirty hands--wearing a hat that has been worn many days in the field--the smell of a farmer--a mechanic, and the list--it forever goes on.
Oh what we would learn if we step back from our judgmental couches and thrones and take the time to see others' hearts--the way God sees our hearts. To listen to other's stories--to be present in the suffering rather than to be a part of it.
If we took this precious time to see--take the blinders away from our eyes and the judgmental speech from our tongues, we would be quick to learn there are broken hearts in all of us.
In these days of the Covid pandemic, political warfare, arguments over the vaccines, masks--people are hurting far worse over things such as to the loss of everything to due to flooding, earthquakes, children separated from their families--a Mama succumbed to the agony--her son who lost his life in Afghanistan. And there are twelve more families with coffins draped with the American flag exiting the plane. There's a widow of only a few weeks wondering how she's going to make it--pay her bills--take her next breath. And a Mama mourning her son--killed by to a gunshot wound--at school, a place that should have never happened. And another Mama whose child pulled the trigger.
It' been a hard few weeks and we have much to pray about. And maybe the first thing we need to pray is to ask God to lift the blinders from our eyes--to see hearts as God sees.. To see the need of others more clearly and act in kindness and compassion rather than in judgment. To give grace as we would like to receive grace. To have a boldness where we are not afraid to stand up for the oppressed and the suffering. And do what we can, while we can, with what time we have left.
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Ephesians 4:18