…man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. I Samuel 16:7 (KJV)
An amusing story is told of a visit T. E. Lawrence, the famed “Lawrence of Arabia,” paid to his good friend Thomas Hardy, the poet and novelist. At the time, Lawrence was serving in the Royal Air Force and was dressed in uniform when he showed up at Hardy’s house for tea. The mayoress of the village also happened to be a guest and was horrified to be in company with a common soldier. She looked over at Mrs. Hardy, addressing her in French, and said that she’d never in all her life had to sit down to tea with a private soldier. No one said a word. Finally, Lawrence with grace spoke to the mayoress in perfect French, saying, “I beg your pardon, Madam, but can I be of any use as an interpreter? Mrs. Hardy knows no French.”
Oops. Are we ever guilty of looking at people and forming judgments based on what we see rather than waiting to see who they really are? Many people in Jesus’ day did just that. They didn’t wait to see what was behind the humble man with calloused hands who called sinners and publicans friends. They didn’t take time to learn who Jesus was.
Lord, open my eyes so that I see the people you created behind the shapes they inhabit. Give me a heart to love and to serve and to touch all those you bring to me. Remind me that you love me, warts and all, and help me to do the same with others. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.