The Eyes of Your Heart
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" 1 Samuel 16:7
My parents bought a timeshare back in the day when I was a young girl, when timeshares were all the rage. It was the most beautiful structure on the beach at that time. The biggest, tallest one around with amenities galore; stepping off the decks onto the amazing white sand just a few strides to the shoreline. Each condo was fully furnished with upscale decor and everything you would need for a home away from home. I still remember the day we went and toured the place with a salesman that was hard pressed on Mama and Daddy making a purchase. They brought us girls along with them for this foray, not realizing we would be on "team salesman" because...well...we wanted to stake our beach home there. I tell you all this so that I can tell you another story.
Dana and I had been married a couple of years when we got word that we could have a free weekend at this most beloved destination, we were encouraged to bring along another couple to enjoy a time away; resting and relaxing in this most delightful place. We were so pumped in making our plans; finding care for our babies while we were gone and deciding on just how we would entertain our friends. There was this little caveat to the deal though, we had to sit through a ninety minute sales pitch which we knew we could endure in the scheme of things.
Upon arrival we happily made our way into the office to receive the room key when the receptionist hands us a pamphlet and directions to a place, right down the street where we would be lodging for this weekend. We were confused with this arrangement but she explained away our baffled expressions and sent us on our way. So we loaded back up, leary of what was ahead but still full of anticipation for a weekend that was sure to not disappoint.
Now, I must need draw a picture of what we saw as we pulled into the parking lot of this other establishment they so generously arranged for us. First of all, it was on the opposite side from the gulf and looked to be a motel situation fresh out of the 1960's era on a good day. As we stepped into the one bedroom (double bed occupancy) we entered into the small kitchen that housed an avocado green refrigerator with a television sitting precariously atop it; a small sofa was perched against the opposite wall for our viewing pleasure. The walls were marked by years of use and the floors squeaked from many a people who had stayed there. The fixtures were rusty at best and the linens were worn. Needless to say these accommodations had seen better days.
This was not at all what I had in mind for a comfortable, elegant, long awaited weekend. I was so disappointed and let down by our surroundings. We wanted to refuse this meager arrangement until we met the people who owned the property.
Even though the building wasn't impressive and the furnishings below par, the older couple who owned this dwelling were the most warm and welcoming, loving pair you would ever meet. Their hospitality far exceeded our expectations. They were jovial and energetic and could not do enough for us to make our stay one of the most enjoyable.
After spending some time talking with them the room took on a more warm and peaceful existence than when we first arrived and we will forever be touched by that most caring, generous set of people God allowed to cross our path for those few days. We have many wonderful, happy, laughable memories of that weekend. It was a learning and growing experience in my life for sure. I learned that it's not about the appearance of someone or something, but the heart. I am so thankful God looks at my heart for that is where Jesus lives and I am nothing without Him.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Help me to always look deeper at a situation than the surface value. That is what I saw that weekend so long ago. Thank You for the experiences of gaining wisdom through life's twists and turns and taking away much needed, heartfelt lessons. I love You. Amen.