Let me confess a prejudice: often I jump to conclusions about someone because of their appearance. Probably not in the way that would first come to mind about prejudice; not racially, but affluently. If a person looks … I’m not even sure how to say it … if they look wealthy or glamorous or very professional, I assume they’re unapproachable.
I Samuel 16:7 tells us that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
The Lord taught me the first of 2 gentle lessons about this on the weekend. Last Friday I had another really wonderful day with friends. It involved my favorite place in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex – Lone Star Antique Mall – here and here. Map here . My friend, her daughter and I went for lunch at SimpliciTeas. The tea room was full; as we sat on the old church pew waiting for a table, we saw a really beautiful purse hanging from the back of a customer’s chair. All brocade and lace and lovely fabric. My friend’s daughter wanted to ask the lady if she could take a photo of the purse. I recognized the style as a really expensive handmade kind ($400-1200) and told her that people who buy purses like that usually don’t want someone copying it. What I was actually afraid of, was that the girl would be rebuffed by an encounter and get her feelings hurt. The girl was behaving better than me because she wanted to ask for permission; I simply snapped the photo without asking.
After we were seated, I could see the lady clearly. She was beautiful. Model beautiful. Really thin, long blond hair with highlights, a lace blouse, cream colored wool skirt, a knee length crocheted jacket, white boots and lovely jewelry. I’m a fairly friendly person, but I would never approach someone like that. Been burned too many times in the past. A few minutes later, she was passing our table and my friend’s daughter spoke to her. After the initial look of surprise, she was so gracious and friendly and we chatted for a couple of minutes. She mentioned that she was going to Branson, Missouri and I asked her if she read blogs (she does); I asked if she had ever read Warm Pie, Happy Home which is now Sugar Pie Farmhouse because that blogger lives in Branson. She said no, but that one of her favorites is Cherry Hill Cottage.
Now that’s ironic for 2 reasons. First: on Thursday one of my favorite blogs, Sweet Cottage Dreams, featured Cherry Hill Cottage as it’s most recent post. Second, when I went to Cherry Hill Cottage, I saw that she listed Sugar Pie Farmhouse in it’s list of favorites.
Second Lesson: Friday night and Saturday morning was the annual District Singing convention in Decatur. I look forward to this all year. (I plan to post more about it later this week.) One of the songwriters who attends is another beautiful woman who wears lovely clothes. Now here’s another ugly thing about my prejudice. I thought her husband looked like a humorless, cold person. Now I realize that I based my judgment solely on how serious he looks when he’s singing in the quartet. This was crazy and wrong on my part! On Saturday, they sat down next to us at the lunch table and were both very friendly. He said that they had never even seen those songs before they sang them that day. No wonder he looked serious – he was concentrating.
How gracious the Lord is to me in the way he showed me this sin. Not with harshness and embarassment, but lovingly, in a beautiful place and eating wonderful Orange Cream Cake. He showed me that it isn’t enough that I don’t condemn a person because they look disheveled or odd. Years ago I learned that lesson from our sons’ friends. Our older son had punk friends. Red mohawks, piercings, awful clothes but they were never rude or disrespectful to me.
How thankful I am that God’s ways are not my ways. Oh, to be like Jesus!
Here are a few photos from the booths at Lone Star Antique Mall. (I asked for permission.) I hope to take a few more next time I go.