Did I catch your attention with the title? Good. I knew I would. Now hopefully I can keep it….. 🙂
I immediately noticed the young man walking by. Tall, dark brown hair, handsome face with a pleasant, friendly look about him. But then, I noticed something else only a moment later. Something that surprised me. Although young, probably not even college age, he walked with a limp. And not just a small limp. He could have been born with it, it could have been from a sports injury, he could have been in a car accident, the list could continue. But whatever the source of the limp was, that young man would possibly have to live with it for the rest of his life. As I watched him go by, something jumped out at me. What stuck out to me wasn’t just the way that his one foot dragged a little behind the other. I saw something else. The way he was standing straight and tall. The way he held his head high with confidence. The look of determination as he put one foot in front of the other. There was just something so encouraging about it all.
I have seen him several times. He even said hello to me today, but we’ve never actually had a conversation. I don’t know him well, yet every single time I see him, I can’t help but wonder at the look of strength and determination on his face. As he smiled and waved at me as he walked by….. Within seconds my entire brain seemed to explode. Thoughts racing at a million miles a minute. I started wondering how I would feel if something ever happened that limited my ability to even walk freely. Would I be able to just keep trusting God through it all? Would I be able to keep the smile on my face? Maybe it was because we are near the same age and he seemed so relatable. Maybe it was seeing the determination that he had, even though some would say he had a disability. But all of a sudden, it hit me.
He was just like me. Just like you. Just like every single other person in this world. I’m sure we would all agree that it’s awful for anyone to have a physical limitation, but especially a young person who has their entire life ahead of them. It saddened me for a moment to think of how difficult it must be for him sometimes. But then I saw his confidence. And it encouraged me so much. He was standing strong, even in the midst of what some (probably including himself) would consider a limitation.
So many times in our lives, we will start to crumble at even the slightest bit of pressure placed on us. Something bad happens and immediately we start to question why a loving God would allow these things to happen. It can be difficult to accept the fact that so many things are simply out of our control. That young man could do nothing about his limp. But he wasn’t sitting at home and pitying himself. Although I’m sure he has struggled with insecurity about it, (Wouldn’t we all?) he had chosen to be strong, stand up, and face the world with a smile on his face. His look of confidence encouraged me so much. It made me remember that no matter what may come in our lives, God will help us through it! He gives grace to face every trial, fear, struggle, and insecurity that we have, whether large or small.
I just couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that even though people have different lives and different circumstances in their lives, we are still all so similar. That young man has a life just as complex and intricate as mine, yours, and everyone else’s. He has thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears, and struggles just like the rest of us. I may not know the reason behind his limp, but he does.
That’s when it slammed me full force. No one is exactly as they appear. Everyone has an untold story. People are so much more than what you can see from the outside. In God’s eyes, you are not defined as an amazing skill that you have, your accomplishments, your failures, or the wealth and prestige that you may have in this world. You are so much more than that! Realize that everyone in this world is important in God’s eyes. Man, woman, and child. They are so much more than a name, a number, a social class, or a physical limitation or disability. You name it, they are worth so much more! In the scenario of this young man, he wasn’t just a good-looking face. He wasn’t just a guy with a limp. He was so much more than that. So, so much more.
Jesus loved him enough to die for him. He loved you enough to die for you. He loved me enough to die for me. You are more than what can be seen from the outside. We all are! You are special. You are loved. In God’s eyes, you aren’t defined by your wealth, fame, success or failures. YOU. ARE. MORE.
Even though that young man walks with a limp, maybe for the rest of his life, God made him perfectly! You may be complaining about your height, weight, nose, or some other minor detail about yourself, but you are so much more than that! Don’t forget that you(along with everyone else in this world) are fearfully and wonderfully made. God makes no mistakes!
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
So often we can forget about those around us. Yes, of course we see people at work, the store, church, etc. we see people all the time! But stop and think about it for a moment. Are you really seeing those people? Or are you just seeing their shell? Are you viewing them as God views them? As living, breathing people in need of a savior? In need of His love and forgiveness? Don’t get so stuck in your little selfish bubble of life that you begin to forget about the importance of the lives and souls of the people around you.
Are you doing your best to care for people the way God does? Or are you too caught up in your own life to stop and think about the wellbeing of another?Step out of your comfort zone! Wouldn’t it be amazing to see God use you to touch and change someone’s life? Wouldn’t it be the greatest blessing in all of the world to know that God had used you to make a difference? You may change the lives of millions, or you may change the life of one. Numbers don’t matter, people do. You may never know the impact that you will have on those around you. Do your best to remember that we are all so much more than we appear. The homeless man that you so easily pass by in the street? He is so much more than “just a homeless man.” The orphans around the world? They are so much more than “just orphans.” They are children with hopes, dreams and futures ahead of them. Follow God’s leading to help and serve others. Don’t just stumble through your life. Make it worthwhile! God put us on this earth for a reason! Make this world a better place by realizing that EVERYONE is so. much. more. than they first appear.
Everyone in this world has a story to tell. Take the time to listen. Take the time to learn. Take the time to serve.
I’m sure that some of you are thinking, “Seriously? What in the world? She saw some guy and within seconds had thought of all that?” Well……. Yes. I named this blog A Sweet N Simple Life for a reason. So many of the small and simple things in my life, that others may consider small and unimportant, have turned into the biggest, sweetest blessings. In this case, yes, it was something as simple as a kind young man with a limp, smiling at me and saying hello that soon turned into a wonderful life lesson. 🙂 This has been such a good reminder that there is so much more to people than what you see on the outside. We should all be doing our best to look past the outward appearance and look at the heart. Every single person is precious in God’s eyes! Do your best to remember that!