We are called to love, not understand.
My daughter is studying Occupational Therapy and has taken me along for her educational ride and I have loved it! She is increasing my sensitivities, so much so, it sometimes feels like I have a new set of eyes. Last week she sent me this post and I have thought about it every day since.
Isn’t this reminder beautiful?
This was written by someone who has abilities to see through what is immediately observable. I often hear people making judgments or evaluative statements about others based on limited external observations, and spoken all too often in a tone that communicates certainty. Sadly, I have been that person and have had that tone at times too. But truth is, we rarely know what we are seeing. Only God knows the complete truth about any scenario. Only He can see clearly.
I say we leave the knowing in His hands, not ours.
Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:5) For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. (1Samuel 16:7b)
That fussy kid? Perhaps it’s his day in a foster home; or his parents just got divorced and his home changed; or she doesn’t feel well; or she has an undiagnosed hearing problem and can’t make sense of her environment.
The child may not be misbehaving.
That driver that just cut us off? Perhaps he or she is struggling to focus – He’s on his way back from the airport after sending his son on deployment; or her daughter just called with news of a distressing medical diagnosis; or maybe that careless driver just found evidence that her husband is having an affair.
The driver may not be a jerk.
That tired student sleeping in class? Maybe he stayed up all night with a sick sibling; or she drank too much at a party and she is on the cusp of understanding that she is numbing her broken heart and needs Jesus to heal those wounds; or maybe he works two jobs to pay for college for both himself and his younger sister.
The student may not be lazy.
That sparring couple? Maybe he just lost his job and stress is high; Or perhaps the couple is worn thin from caring for aging parents and feeling badly about how the wear and tear is causing them to be cranky with one another. None of us saw the apologies they exchanged five minutes after we judged them.
The couple may not have a troubled marriage.
You get the idea. We don’t really know anything about anyone.
But here’s a certainty on which we can anchor ourselves: When we see something we don’t understand, think this: If I knew that person’s entire life experience and genetics, I would know exactly what I am seeing right now.
So folks, let’s love on every child that comes to our door this Halloween week, and let’s love every single person we interact with all day long.
Picture Explanation: It’s fall, and everyone in Georgia picked the same day to go to the pumpkin farm, and we all had a great time! And the daughter that teaches me all about Occupational Therapy? Every once in a while I get to see her in person instead of over the phone, and when I do, I buy her lunch!
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