This week, Beth’s cousin and niece came to stay with us overnight so they could get a head start on the Columbus Zoo the next day. Her family lives in West Virginia so it saved them about a four-hour drive and we were happy to have them. The West Virginia family is “close.” By that I mean, when they have family reunions, there’s almost 60 people who show up for it. They go for days and days talking about their family and visiting and re-visiting. Everyone loves everyone else and it’s a great time when they can all get together.
When Helen Ann (they use both names south of the Ohio River) showed up, Beth and her just talked and talked and talked. They stayed up till early morning talking about this and that and just plain “catchin’ up.” Well the next morning, Helen Ann and her niece went to the zoo and then, afterward, she wanted to get her mother something nice because it was her birthday. Beth had recommended a store in Dublin that has high quality merchandise and suggested that Helen Ann stop there and see if she could find something. Which is exactly what she did and she did find something really nice that she wanted to buy for her mother.
Now, I need to share this with you. God has blessed them. I mean, He has really blessed them. They live in a house that would swallow our house up. It’s probably about 6,000 square feet in the rolling hills of West Virginia and they own a really nice piece of property. They are both retired. They have put God first in their lives. And they are blessed. When they need/want something, they buy the best of what they want. It’s not to show off or anything, but they want quality things in their lives and they can afford it. They are also very humble and God-fearing people. The Lord is first in their lives and they support their church and the Lord’s work quite well. Get the idea?
Well after walking around the zoo for most of the day, they were hot and tired. They were dressed very casually, and decided to make the stop for a birthday present before returning home. Helen Ann found the perfect present and proceeded to the front of the store to pay for it. Remember, when she buys something, she doesn’t have a problem spending the money if she really likes what she is buying. She really liked what she had picked out. (Please don’t get the idea that because something costs a lot, that makes it worthy as a gift. They are not like that. She happened to like the present and was able to afford it.)
Approaching the sales counter, she said the lady looked her up and down before asking her if she was ready to check out. And from there, it goes down hill. The conversation headed to “Where are you from?” to which Helen Ann replied that she was from West Virginia. And then she told us that she felt like she didn’t belong there and the clerk made her feel that maybe she couldn’t afford to buy what she had picked out.
Has that ever happened to you? You find yourself in a situation where you feel your money isn’t good enough and you feel out of place? I have and I bet you have too. Anyway, Helen Ann, decided that she didn’t want to spend her money in a store that would give her that feeling, and explained to the cashier that she had changed her mind. She didn’t ask for the manager or make a scene she simply said she had changed her mind and graciously left the store.
Why did I share that with you? One simple reason: we should never judge a book by its cover. We are all created equal by God. The song says, “Red and yellow, black and white all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” And if Jesus loves them, who are we to judge anyone and who are we to not love them too? Find something good in everyone and show them the love of God. You might be the only “Jesus” someone sees.
And that is Something To Think About for this week.
Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at (740) 852-7800, email him at email@example.com.