“I never would have guessed it. You seem…different than that.” My co-worker couldn’t help commenting when she saw me wearing my “Hallmark and Hot Cocoa Kinda Girl” t-shirt. I told her my DVR was filled with Hallmark movies. She looked at me in doubt. “I guess I figured you were a sci-fi girl.” She wasn’t wrong. As much as I love Hallmark movies, I am just as quick to watch Doctor Who or a good super hero movie. As we ended our conversation, I’m not sure she bought into the idea that I love the sweet, simple Hallmark romances. It didn’t mesh with her idea of me. While not wrong, she didn’t have the whole picture.
Stone Hammond runs into that same problem in the late 1800s in Karen Witemeyer’s A Worthy Pursuit. Stone finds people and is hired by a powerful man to find is granddaughter’s kidnapper. When he finds her hiding in Texas, Stone gets more than he bargained for. Someone is not who they seem to be, and Stone has to figure out if it is the woman he’s tracking or the man who hired him. Time isn’t on his side, as his employer has sent another tracker out with a reputation for getting the job done no matter what. In the end, Stone isn’t the only one to learn that people are often more complex than our first impressions would have us believe. All it takes is each character taking the time to get to know each other, and they come away with a clearer picture of those God has brought into their lives.
The people in our lives are no different, and they weren’t any different in David’s time. When David was still young, Samuel was sent to anoint the next king of Israel. He knew the king would come from the house of Jesse. When he arrived, he saw David’s brothers who were older, stronger, better looking, you name it. But God said no. He chose the young shepherd boy that Samuel would have overlooked. God chose him because He saw something in David that the others didn’t see, something that made David the right choice. Of course, a little later in his life, people looking to David would have seen an adulterer, a conniver, and a murderer. If he wasn’t king, he wouldn’t be the person you’d want to pal around with. But even then, God didn’t write him off. God saw a heart that would cry in repentance when faced with its sin. God looked past the failures and the outer appearance and found a man after his own heart.
The way God saw David can be an encouragement and a challenge. The challenge comes in being willing to look past the rough edges of those we meet. It isn’t always easy to get past our own ideas of who someone is and choose to look instead at how God sees them. It’s equally hard to look at ourselves the way God does. But we can find encouragement in David’s story. We will mess up. We will fail God and others. But as He did with David, God looks past that to our hearts. Are they filled with repentant spirits? Do they want to be right with God? That’s what God sees, because God always takes a look past what is easily seen to the real person underneath.
By the Book: Take time to read the story of David’s anointing in 1 Samuel 16. Ask God to help you see yourself and others the way He does.