"...For not the way man sees [is the way God sees], because mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is" - 1 Samuel 16:7
Yesterday in field service Enrique and I were working in house-to-house, asking for English speakers at each home we called on. As we moved down the block we saw sitting on the ground under a tree a man who looked very unkempt. As Enrique approached him and asked if he spoke English I remember thinking to myself "why is he talking to this guy?". Of course you know how the story is going to proceed right?
"Si" the man replied. Enrique looked at me for a split second and we both approached and started talking to him about the message. Enrique spoke basically about the critical times we are in, the need for guidance and how the Bible can help us. The man listened intently. As we were close to him now it was apparent he was indeed having a tough go of it. His hair was long, his clothes tattered and dirty, his face looked tired. But he listened to the kingdom message.
He told us his name was Joe and that he was homeless. He said he was from a small town near Guasave but was in the city looking for work. He had no place to live but happened to be resting on the street we worked that morning. Interestingly Joe says he remembers his mother used to study when he was a child. He said he remembers going " to the Salon and studying the Atalaya". Enrique described to him the Bible study program and also invited him to our meetings on Sunday. Joe seemed eager to attend a meeting, we hope that he does indeed attend one soon. He thanked us for talking with him and accepted some magazines and went about his way.
As I thought about our conversation with Joe I was reminded of the verse above when Samuel was sent to the house of Jesse to anoint the next king of Israel. We at times tend to make judgments about people based on what we see. Jehovah of course sees what we are inside. By his appearance Joe was just some homeless guy on the street. It would have been so easy to ignore him and keep on going. But we would have missed an opportunity to give a witness. Joe listened to what we had to say and expressed an interest in learning more. What will be the end result? For now I don't know. But I did receive a good reminder: don't judge a book by it's cover.