IMG_20141103_201253Yesterday I was walking down the street and I passed a couple who had various body piercings and tattoos. My first reaction was to scowl at them, because to me, it just does not look right and I feel that they are ‘defacing’ the beautiful bodies God has given them. That is my personal opinion. My reaction reminded me of a few years ago when God taught me a major lesson about how easily we judge things and people by their outside appearances. I had just climbed off a plane in Birmingham, England, and was waiting, along with a 100 other people, for my luggage to appear on the carousel belt. I was on the opposite side of the carousel from where the luggage first appeared. The 4th item of luggage to appear was a big black suitcase that was ripped at the sides and held together by ugly brown sticky masking tape. As I watched its progress along the carousel the following thoughts were going through my mind:
“I wonder how someone who can’t even afford a decent suitcase can afford to fly?”
“I would be so embarrassed to acknowledge that as my suitcase!”
“I wonder how the person who owns that suitcase is dressed?”
As it drew closer to me I saw that it had exactly the same stickers that I had on my suitcase and then I saw my name on the identity tag and purely out of instinct I reached out and lifted it off the carousel belt. To compound my embarrassment I didn’t even have a trolley so I couldn’t put the suitcase on a trolley and cover it with my hand luggage! I had to pull this broken, wonky suitcase that was held together by ugly brown tape all the way through the airport. People stopped to stare at me as the wheel mechanism was also broken and it was making an awful racket as I pulled it along. I was mortified as I could just imagine what people were thinking!
In Matthew there are two very challenging verses “Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1,2) and John 7:24 says “Stop judging by outside appearances…”
My suitcase was filled with beautifully wrapped presents, chocolates and decent clothes.
Judging by the appearance of my suitcase you would have thought it was filled with rags.
Often things happen that are beyond our control – I had put a big, black suitcase in good condition onto the airplane in South Africa and had received a damaged and torn suitcase, covered in tape in England. Somewhere in transit the suitcase was badly damaged and yet the contents were unharmed and, thank God, nothing was stolen.
The friends I was visiting have a son whose body is covered in tattoos and he has various piercings on his face and body. Judging by his appearance you would think he was a delinquent who took drugs and was on the dole because he had never completed his education. In fact the truth is, he has never taken drugs, has a steady job,earns a good income and is one of the kindest, politest and honest people that I have ever met. I love him dearly and yet if I didn’t know him and saw him walking towards me on the street I would cross over to the other side…………..!
My oldest daughter who is now working has also had a few piercings done. I struggle with it because it is something I would never do but she thinks they are beautiful. These piercings have not changed her at all. She is still the beautiful, compassionate, caring and humorous person she has always been. These piercings may affect how she looks on the outside to a small degree but they have certainly not changed what she is like on the inside.
The couple smiled and greeted me in a friendly way as we passed each other in the street and I was reminded again of that old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.
I was also reminded of the words that Jesus spoke when the woman caught in adultery was brought to Him (John 8). The punishment for adultery was for her to be stoned to death. Jesus said to the crowd:
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

About Noelene

I am a child of God's. I am also a writer. Mother Teresa once said "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world". My objective is to be one of God's love letters to the world. I can only achieve this through His grace at work in my life.
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  1. misstrainee says:

    Thank you for liking a post of mine. That like lead me to hear and I’m glad it did! Such an important reminder in this world where judgement fills our days without us even realising. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. says:

    Great reminder of an important lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Noelene says:

    Reblogged this on noelenesite.


  4. Not only very thought-provoking–and something I very much agree with–but extremely well-written. As an author, I pay attention to the writing as much as I do to the content.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Noelene,

    Thanks for stopping by my site and for following. I am enjoying your blog as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for liking what I said, and for this entry. So true!


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