Story of the Day for Saturday October 1, 2011
The Wonderful People
Don’t judge by how things appear. . .
While waiting for her flight, a woman bought a book and a package of cookies and took a seat in the airport terminal. As she was reading she noticed the man sitting next to her began fumbling with her cookies. He opened the package and helped himself to one. She couldn’t believe it! Not knowing what to do, she reached over and grabbed one of her cookies and started to eat. And then it happened again, he grabbed another cookie. The woman was not about to let a stranger eat all her cookies so she grabbed another one.
With one cookie left, the stranger broke it in two, gave her half, and walked away.
Still fuming, she reached into her purse to get a tissue and . . . there was her unopened package of cookies.
As a matter of fact, I have developed a cool theory based solely on judging by outward appearances. I think I can tell how liberal or fundamental a congregation is by the shape of the cross on their church.
If you see a church with a big, fat cross: they’re probably fundies. They usually don’t paint their cross, but if they do, it’s black.
The loosey-goosey liberal churches have really skinny crosses. They’re usually made of metal.
If the cross is real ornate, that means the church is probably real stodgy and ritualistic.
And so on.
I know I’m not supposed to judge churches simply because of the kind of cross they put on their church. But I do.
Do you do that kind of thing? Do you ever find yourself judging the character of someone based on the length of their hair or how they dress?
What do we do about that? After just confessing my habit of judging the theology of congregations on the basis of their church crosses, you’re probably not looking to me as the ideal source for advice on this topic.
I’m not the ideal source, but here is what I do. I haven’t learned to stop making judgments about people based on appearances. Some day, I hope I will. But until then, what I do is learn to recognize those areas where I tend to draw hasty conclusions, and then go out of my way to prove my initial judgment false.
Today I picked up a hitchhiker. Hitchhikers, as we all know, are bums who are either too lazy to work or losers who lost their driver’s licenses from too many DUIs. (Are you getting the picture here?) So, my goal is to prove how wrong my assumptions are.
Guess what? I’m discovering that most hitchhikers are kind, or down on their luck, and are humbly grateful for the ride. The guy I picked up today broke his back and is strengthening it by riding his bike. But it hurt so bad that he had to leave it at a car dealership and hitch a ride the rest of the way to town.
You wouldn’t believe the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure to meet since I started treating people this way.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)