Do you remember the first time you ever saw a balloon before it was inflated?
I can honestly say that I don’t.
If I think about what that would have been like for me, though, I can imagine that I might not have thought that a colorful and small piece of stretchy plastic could ever have changed into an air filled toy that would bounce and float in the air.
Of course, I would have been wrong.
More than likely, my little child’s mind wouldn’t have considered any possibilities past what I could’ve actually seen.
As recorded in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel, the Lord sent Samuel to anoint a new king.
Samuel was sent to a man named Jesse, who had several sons.
When Samuel saw Eliab, he thought that he would be the one that the Lord had chosen–but he wasn’t:
When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:6-7)
When Samuel had seen seven of Jesse’s sons, the Lord had not chosen any of them.
Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more sons.
There was one other, who was tending to the sheep.
That son was David.
It was David that the Lord had chosen.
The Lord could see in David what others may not have seen.
He saw David’s heart.
He knew what David could be.
When we look at other people, it’s easy to just take them at “face value”—their apparent worth— isn’t it?
What do you think when you see a homeless person on the street?
An old man on a park bench?
A child running in the park?
A clerk in the grocery store?
We see them as they appear, but the Lord sees their hearts.
He sees the talents He has given them.
He sees their great worth.
He sees what they can become.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could try to see past appearances and look at others’ hearts?