July 9, 2021: Look at the Heart
“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7, NKJV).
He landed on our doorstep, without an invitation, nor in swaddling clothes. He answered, on occasion, to “Buddy.” He was a white, 40-pound fur ball. My wife, Jackie, lacked enthusiasm regarding this unexpected addition to an otherwise empty nest. She had never liked big dogs, especially at grooming time. She never liked boy dogs for the obvious reasons, and she did not like the fact that he was all white, too hard to keep clean. And to boot, he came without papers. By all outward appearances, this pooch was a loser.
That “blessed event” was 10 years ago. Today we love Buddy, whether he’s barking at the deer in the yard or pretending he’s a lap dog. He’s no longer too big, too much of a boy dog or too white. He’s now an official member of the family. We’ve taken the measure of his “heart” and he of ours.
Samuel was tasked by God to anoint the next king of Israel. His first instinct was to choose Jesse’s eldest son, the good looking one. But God knew the heart of the youngest of Jesse’s sons, David, and chose him.
Unfortunately, we live in times when people are judged by the color of their skin, their language, speech or religion. We tend to be impressed by a person’s resume, how they dress and where they live, instead of the leaning of their hearts. And we forget that Christ died for all people, not just a privileged few.
Today, God, may we resolve to touch the lives of all people, and not permit prejudice or stereotypes to blind us to the fact that we are all children of our heavenly Father, Who looks at our hearts. Amen.
Walter Carson is the recently retired vice president and general counsel for the Columbia Union Conference.