We rented a house in a beautiful community called Watercolor. There were blocks and blocks of Victorian homes just minutes from the beach, some inhabited by their owners, and some built as investment properties. There was a community pool across the street from our house. Our rental home was provided with four bicycles, which we used every day to ride miles and miles of bicycle trails within and surrounding the area.
I rode my bike for hours every day. One of my favorite rides was to a neighboring resort area called
Occasionally, I would coerce another family member to go with me to see Majestic Porch. One day, Kindred Spirit and I were parked on our bikes in front of the house. I could not take my eyes off of that porch. Kindred Spirit said, “Why don’t you knock on the door and ask to see the house? It is a bed and breakfast after all. I’m sure the owner will be flattered and show you around.”
I mustered up my courage, leaned forward, and headed for the porch. As I reached the top step, the door flung open and a grim-looking older woman filled the doorway. “Yes?” she drolled. Absolutely terrified, I plastered on my cheery face and stammered, as her eyes bored into me. “Hi. Um. I noticed that this is a, uh, bed and breakfast. We are vacationing in the area and, well, uh, I thought that next time, er, maybe we might consider staying here, you know. Your home is so beautiful. Do you have any, uh, information we can take with us?”
She continued glaring at me for a moment then turned to go inside, pulling the door almost shut as I craned my neck to get a glimpse inside. She returned to the porch a moment later and thrust a piece of paper in my hand. “Here,” she said. “These are the prices.” With that she turned and went inside, shutting the door firmly behind her. Kindred Spirit and I just stood there. We looked at each other and, shoulders slumped, walked slowly back to our bikes. “Sorry, Mom, my mother-in-law usually has a good response when she does that kind of thing.”
We rode our bikes back in silence. I was so disappointed. I assumed that, based on the beauty of that façade that the inside must be just as beautiful, but I was wrong, because the beauty of the inside is dependent on those who inhabit it.
How often do I do that with people? How often do I assume that an attractive person is warm and sweet and worth getting to know? How often do I not even notice someone who might not be as attractive on the outside? How many times have I taken the time to get to know someone, only to find them more attractive once I did, because the beauty of their heart transcended their outer appearance?
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7