As I pulled into the parking lot at work the other day I noticed this rather pathetic looking tree. It was obviously young and leaned hard to the right. I parked in front of it and wondered who had done such a poor job in planting it and went about my day. When I returned to my car at the end of my day I found to my surprise that my “crooked” little tree had, in fact, provided just the right amount of shade to keep my car from being unbearably hot in the late afternoon sun.
Yes, even crooked trees can provide shade and shelter to those who need it. How often do we dismiss people around us in the same way, thinking “what on earth could they possibly have to offer?”. We don’t know what storms the people we meet every day have weathered. Maybe those storms have caused them to lean hard to one side or the other……..but somehow they managed to not be toppled by those storms.
Jesus surrounded himself with a rather unlikely cast of characters too. A tax collector, fisherman, women of ill repute……yet Jesus saw life and purpose in each one of them. Jesus look beyond their outside appearance to their hearts and decided that these would be the very people through whom he would build his church.
The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Let’s set our hearts on being like Jesus. Looking beyond the nicks, dents and defects on the outside and calling forth the treasure on the inside.
Father God forgive us for all of the times we judged those around us by their outside appearance. Help us to see the beauty and purpose you placed inside of each one of us and to encourage one another in our pursuit of purpose. Let us not forget that even crooked trees provide the perfect amount of shade.