It’s Not Always How It Looks

Coconut Creek, Florida - Now, doesn't that sound tropical?

This is our front yard. It looks the same in winter, summer, spring and fall. It’s lovely (thanks to the company that keeps it looking good). Due to the underground sprinkler system common in Florida, it is always green. Due to our especially rainy rainy season this summer it was even greener and provided job security for the lawn company.

To help us remember the seasons change we use faux touches hoping we be part of autumn. They don’t change the fact palm trees do not have leaves that change colors nor do the black olive trees. The Bougainvillea still blooms its lovely colors of summer.

There are two thoughts converging in my mind now. One, we can’t judge something by the exterior though we do it again and again.

The other is no matter how we dress it up we are who we are.

The first is an area where I’ve excelled. Tattoos all over? Must be a thug. Piercings in areas that shouldn’t be pierced? Guess they don’t have high hopes for a decent job. Unkempt general appearance? Slothful, lazy, addict?

Yes, I’ve been quick to make that external judgement call. No, I’m not proud of that. At all. Yes, I hope it’s changing. I hope I’m changing. And it’s the addicts I work with that are helping that change, helping me not ration grace but realize there’s enough for everyone.

And that’s where the other one comes in. No matter how we dress up we are who we are. We are sinful misfits needing God’s grace to cover our rags and make them like new. He doesn’t care about the external. He doesn’t care if we’re in Salvation Army uniforms or lice ridden rags from living under a bridge. He Does Not Care ABOUT THAT. He cares about us.

Give me that heart Lord. Those eyes that don’t see the external but sees a soul a heart that needs grace. If I can share your grace then maybe they’ll see you. Not me but you. Always you because I am not the grace giver. I am merely sharing what you’ve given and continue to give me.

It always comes back to that: Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

2 thoughts on “It’s Not Always How It Looks

  1. Debbie says:

    One of my sweet daughter’s first truly independent acts (as in, I didn’t know about it until afterwards) was to get a tattoo behind her ear when she turned 21. She was in college in Minnesota at the time.
    The tattoo is a vine – a pattern she drew – representing Lothlórien, the fairest forest realm of the Elves in Middle-earth. It’s actually quite lovely. It shows if she pulls her hair back, and not if she doesn’t.
    Tolkien or not, my first reaction wasn’t glee. But it soon was, because I understood both what it meant to her – and, as you said, what it doesn’t mean. Man looks on the outward appearance, God looks on the heart. I want His view and His heart.
    I like it better when she pulls her hair back. 😀

    • Debby says:

      I’ve finally come on something we don’t have in common – I’m not a fan of Lord of the Rings. My husband, however, loves it and watches the movies over and over. But I get the reference. And I completely get the tattoo thing as our son got one for his 31st birthday this year. He had always said he didn’t like the permanence of them so, obviously, I was rather surprised. More so when I saw it on Facebook first. Another family story we laugh about now 🙂 It goes with the story of when he got his belly button pierced while working at summer camp. Yes, he’s the baby of the family!
      I’ve known and understood for years that God looks at the heart but sometimes it’s been a struggle for me. I must say, the men we work with are helping me with that. As always, thanks for your comments.

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