By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
As an author who lacks sketching and painting skills, I often sidestep artsy remarks by confessing that the only thing I draw is a conclusion.
Joking aside, I believe this holds true for many of us. We are sometimes quick to judge, infer, or decide before we have all the facts. We pronounce yea or nay when we have only a sliver of the picture.
A perfect illustration presented itself one recent morning as my husband and I vacationed in Kentucky.
Traveling a four-lane state highway edged in rolling green hills and autumn-bronzed trees, we came upon a city policeman walking along the shoulder toward the city we’d just left. A little farther on, we passed his parked cruiser.
Nearly a mile later we saw a woman walking on the shoulder headed the same direction as the officer. And not too far past her, sat a car parked on the edge of the road.
An unusual situation at best. Was the woman walking back toward the police car hoping to find help? Had the radio gone out in the officer’s patrol car, requiring him to hike back to headquarters?
Could he not call for backup?
Had he been tailing the woman – perhaps his estranged girlfriend or wife – and changed his mind?
Had they just had a fight? Was she walking back to apologize?
Did she run out of gas, out of patience, out of time?
Did they know each other?
Why weren’t they driving?
Were both vehicles sabotaged by a bank-heist suspect, an escaped murderer, or a ten-year-old kid on a joy ride?
We’ll likely never know what was going on that day or if those two people even knew the other was out there.
It’s quite similar to situations I find myself in all the time: at a restaurant where the service is slow (because other waitstaff called off and the young single-mother college-student is doing her best to keep up). Or when I get stuck behind a man in slow motion at the grocery-store checkout (because he can’t see his credit cards through tears since the recent death of his wife who did all the shopping).
We cross paths with people like this every day, and we know little or nothing about them. Sadly, we often act like we’re the only person in the setting who is busy, hurried, stressed, late, or angry because things aren’t going our way.
We don’t know their whole story. We don’t have all the facts, we don’t see the full picture.
Jesus knew the heart of man and yet He said,
Go the extra mile.
Love your neighbor.
Pray for those who curse you.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Get the log out of your eye before plucking the splinter in another’s.
Those are challenging commands. But the more we familiarize ourselves with His story, the more strength we’ll draw from His faithfulness to help us be … different.
We don’t always get to know the rest of the story. But we get to know the story of the One who saves us all if we let Him.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.
~The rest of the story Click To Tweet
“Hi. I hope you’re not busy.”
Kayla Ryan’s red eyes said everything, and Georgia opened her arms to the young woman, who sobbed against her shoulder.
“Come sit down. I just made a fresh pot of coffee.” Georgia grabbed a tissue box from the counter, then took two mugs from the cupboard. Honey, cream, and napkins followed.
Kayla sat down and then blew her nose. “Thank you.”
Why now, Lord? Georgia squirmed against her desire to have everything ready for Dave and her calling to comfort others with the Lord’s words. Yes, comfort. It was her purpose, and she used words to fulfill it, whether written or not. “Do you want to talk about it?”
With a stuttered breath, Kayla looked around the kitchen as if someone else might be eavesdropping. “I—I’m pregnant.” A Mistletoe Christmas
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