As I was walking to the front of Wal-Mart to try & find the shortest check-out line, I saw her. It was just another busy day. We had been home on furlough for several months & I was trying to hurry, get my stuff, & get out, which is pretty much impossible in our small town Wal-Mart. I wasn't in the best mood anyway & didn't feel like talking much.
The checker at "the shortest line" was a tattooed, pierced girl who looked "shady" to me. She had already seen me so I was pretty much committed. I just hoped maybe I wouldn't have to talk, avoided eye contact, & was thanking the Lord for how automated our world has become...when I hear this cheerful voice ask me, "How are you today?" I looked up at her face for the first time & was surprised as I saw beautiful, clear, blue eyes. She proceeded to tell me how her day had gone & about the special Easter services her church was having the next few weeks. Church. Really? I asked her where she went to church & she proceeded to tell me how she & her daughter had been saved the year before & how good it was to be free & how much joy she had now that she had Jesus.
Speechless. Tears in my eyes. I felt completely & utterly ashamed. I quietly thanked her, took my bags, & left. Here I was judging her because I saw tattoos & piercings, but in front of me was a woman who was walking with Jesus & showing her love for Him way more than I was that day. My prideful, judging heart gets in the way a lot.
I sat in the parking lot for a while. Contemplating what had just happened. Why do I so quickly jump to conclusions by looking at someone's outside? Why do I think I am any better simply because I don't "look" like that? Bam. Bam. Bam. Conviction so very heavy.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has hurts. Everyone has walked a different path. The people who came to Jesus & even the people that Jesus sought out weren't exactly picture perfect. But that's not what Jesus saw.
And that's what I realized that I am still missing. LOVE.
Jesus wanted to hear their story. He wanted to know their wounds. He wanted all the broken & bruised pieces. He wanted to show them what He saw. What LOVE sees.
He is LOVE. LOVE climbs on a tree where someone else should have died. LOVE heals by bleeding into wounds. LOVE doesn't see the outward. LOVE sees the person. LOVE wins.
Who cares about tattoos? Who cares about weird clothes? Come on, people. Let your heart cry with mine- that we will see with LOVE.