How many times do we, as Christians, take things at face value? Touch just the surface? Grasp only what we can see? Seldom do we “get in the trenches” with those we care about. Those in our church, our families, our friends. We ask questions that we want a quick answer to, in passing. Just to be nice. But do we really see this person? Or are we just allowing ourselves to see and know the surface area? Are we looking through our eyes, or HIS? Do we see the heart of the person? For that’s what Jesus sees.
There are many broken hearts out there. But to see the person on the outside you may never know it. People carry burdens in their hearts, where they feel things. And we need to start looking at more than meets the eye….
Just last week someone very special to me gave me a box of used rulers, pencils and ink pens to take on my upcoming mission trip to Belize. I had been gathering supplies to take to the village school teachers, and thought that was so sweet of this person to give me what he had on hand to distribute.
But that was just the surface. Later I found out the heart of it. This box of stuff belonged to his father. Who recently passed away. Who was a shop teacher. Who kept this very box of supplies on his desk to loan out to children who didn’t have any. This box provided a need for many years!
My friend said the names on these wooden rulers probably dated back to when we were possibly in school! It represented precious years of service to these children. I was humbled. And I could think of no greater gift….and I will think of this friend (and his father) when I give them to one of the village schools to continue the work. A legacy of giving. Providing needs.
I wonder what my friend thought about when he handed me that box? This was his father’s box! And to think he would share that with me? I treasure that spirit of giving to those in need. These teachers are desperate for supplies! He could have kept these for his own personal memories like I did when my own mother passed away. I couldn’t bear to get rid of anything that she used! “Mom” was attached to everything.
His heart needs healing from this loss, and yet he was willing to let it go. There had to be emotions under the surface when he handed me that box…..emotions that I couldn’t see.
But to look at it, it’s just a little white box of rulers and pencils. Common, ordinary stuff. Stuff that some of you might wonder what all the fuss is about! But it’s stuff with a message. And a heart. To those that see below the surface.
Ah, if only this box could talk! What stories it could tell…stories about the years it provided its service. But it provided more than just rulers and pencils. It provided a sense of compassion. "Someone cared enough to provide what I needed."
Yes, there was a lot more than what I originally saw in this box. More than what met my eyes when it was first handed to me. And I realized how often we miss out on the story. The heart. The depth. Simply because we didn’t ask, or take time to listen. Or look..
I can’t help but wonder how many “boxes of rulers” I’ve been handed in life. And how many wonderful stories I’ve missed out on in the process.
Lord, help us to see with Your eyes, listen with Your ears, feel with Your heart. And to always dig a little deeper. And to always be willing to go below the surface. And be sensitive enough to look beyond the obvious. The glory and the joy is in the discovery of those hidden treasures! And we never know. Someone might be healing a broken heart.
So be careful the next time you’re handed “a little white box”. There might be more in it than you think.