Judging a Book by Its Cover

As a pastor’s wife, you run into lots of people from various cultures. We have a young lady that started attending church months ago. Her dad is Puerto Rican, her mom is African American with parents from Louisiana – Creole in heritage. Such a beautiful girl. She says strangers can’t decide if she’s Hispanic or African American with light skin or from India or other far away countries, then she laughs with a delightful sound.

I ran into someone else today who had to go to court and she was dressed in a pretty black dress with a multi-colored necklace and shiny silver shoes. The only thing out of the ordinary is an exotic hair style. The person that wanted her in court to press their case wore a man’s big sports t-shirt, sloppy shoes, baggy slacks, and a really short haircut. She usually eats poorly and sleeps erratic hours, so there’s dark circles under her eyes.

I told the first one she looked pretty. Then I asked how the other person appeared. She said, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

I said, “In this case you can.”

The court case didn’t go the way the finely dressed girl wanted it to, but it went the way she expected it to. She had been trying to help a friend and the judge said if the person doesn’t want assistance it’s time to stop. The one receiving care wanted to speak badly about the other. The judge raised her hand and stopped any comments. We’re not here for a discussion.

She ruled on the case and then turned to the lady in the dress. “Thank you for all that you’ve done.”

Friendly Female Judge Cartoon Clipart

(photo from clip art)

 

 

 

Then to the one that brought the case to court, she instructed her to get her act together and she wanted to see proof that the girl carried out the correct behavior. “No one will call you or set up appointments with professionals for you, but you will be required to carry through or face consequences.”

It was more than the pretty dress and clean appearance that caused Her Honor to praise the one girl and her husband. The judge saw a couple who truly cared and had stepped in when someone was floundering. Unfortunately, other influences occurred and voices spoke that stopped the positive direction. It’s not easy to change and sometimes people don’t want their friends or family to walk away from activities even if it’s the absolute best for them.

So I’m praying for all the parties involved. I’ve seen God answer prayers in amazing ways that seemed convoluted at the time. Yet, every twist and turn set the path for the proper ending. There are times when it’s appropriate to let go and wait and see how things work out. Especially if a judge says, “Thanks for trying, but it’s out of your hands now.”

That is exactly what God does when He gives us free choice. He gives people the opportunity to seek Him and find Him and learn from Him. He gives folks the chance to try other faiths or atheism. He tells of the benefits of following Him and He tells of the consequences of rejecting Him. I’ve been reading in 2 Chronicles and sometimes it’s long and not interesting and other places it’s absolutely riveting. When the kings stopped honoring God and obeying Him, their choices became absolutely demonic. I marked my Bible with that word outside the printing at 2 Chronicles 28:3 – demonic.

It’s such a relief when the chapter begins with the new king and the Word says this one did what was right in the sight of the Lord as his father David did. These kings were descendants of King David generations down the line.

We’ve been getting so much rain in Upstate, NY. Being a gray day didn’t help the emotions of the young girl summoned to court but God answered our prayers. I prayed that no weapon formed against her or her husband would prosper. That’s a promise from Isa_54:17 , (KJV): “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,” saith the LORD.

She prayed that they would be careful to speak with wisdom. God answered our prayers and He knows all about both young ladies and the situation. We can rest in His provision and control, just as King David trusted in God to protect Him in difficult situations.

I try not to judge people by appearances because sometimes scam artists dress very fine and clean up really nice. God knows all about everybody. I’m glad Christians kept after me even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear. One girl spoke gently and intriguingly to me every day at school for months. Then I would go home and ponder. She was not the only Christian I ran into in those days. Somehow it finally made sense to me.

May God bless you.

 

 

 

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Ups and Downs

Our church has a pastor that wants to teach a Bible study on Wednesday nights on questions about why God allows bad things to happen.

I got thinking about that tonight because this morning my husband just finished eating breakfast and then out of nowhere, a bee crawled on his back and stung him. Later, he enjoyed himself the best he could and then we had somewhere to be. I went one way and he went another. While I listened to a story of a terrible crime and a drug addicted judge under the influence who never recused himself when the perpetrators came to court, I thought how strange life can be. Up one minute with joyful moments and then down hours later as I heard about the criminals getting off of the worst charges because of the judge and the law’s requirement – criminals can’t be tried for the same crime twice – that’s double jeopardy. So they all went to jail on much lesser charges.

Got back to where my husband was and he looks like he had a great day but now he’s tired out. I told him I heard a depressing story and he didn’t ask what it was about and I didn’t tell him, just like I’m not telling the details here.

I did say that some people don’t believe there’s a devil, but when I hear of horrific things happening, it makes me wonder how they can doubt there’s a devil. Jesus said the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to give life and that abundantly in John 10:10.

Not that the devil does the deed, but he’s behind the idea to do the evil acts.

I left thoughts of the tragedy behind and took some time with some young people, innocent and happy to tell me about their day and then asking me to spell things. Such joy.

The only way I can cope with emotions going one way and then in the opposite direction is to look to Jesus and His Word. Yesterday I read a few psalms that altered my upset attitude. What a great God we serve. This is one of them: Psa 46:1 (KJV) To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psa 46:2  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Psa 46:3  Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Psa 46:4  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

Psa 46:5  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

Psa 46:6  The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

Psa 46:7  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Psa 46:8  Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

Psa 46:9  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

Psa 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Psa 46:11  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

I’m not sure why my emotions went up and down as much as they did yesterday, but I know that reading the Word of God gave me such peace, I was overwhelmed with the goodness of God. After that, I was steady all day and all day today. How great is our God!

May God bless you.