Monday, February 20, 2012

Not Quite What You'd Expect

Surprises aren't safe. I've never really liked surprises, probably because it means I am not in control. However, the more I know my JESUS, the less I mind them. Each one reminds me that HE is in control and I am along for the ride. So, it's actually turned out to be pretty fun...and humbling to be surprised by people who are not what I expected.

Have a little fun being surprised with me...

It's easy to dismiss the people here as uneducated and dumb. But that is a huge mistake.
Mr. T is a small, quiet, older man. He smiles easily, laughs big and gets really excited over beef jerky! I've seen people yell at him, pass knowing looks about him and brush him off as if he is clueless. He never answers back, or stops smiling. It's obvious he is very kind and patient.
I didn't know he spoke 5 languages.

And there is definitely more to Al than meets the eye. He has a humble job that requires him to help people who often don't even speak to him. He thinks little of himself.
I knew he had strong opinions that he only shares if you want to hear them and that he really listens to others'.
I knew he was smart when he overheard me pondering a math calculation and instantly threw out the answer.
I didn't know that as a child he was taken in by a kind CHRISTian man who poured into him and that after that man died he was on his own when his family couldn't care for him any longer. I didn't know that he survived abandonment, worked hard and studied physics and chemistry at a university in a neighboring country.
I didn't know he was forced to drop out when a violent civil war broke out and that he had to return to Guinea and take a simple job so he could live.
Al is married now, and school is something restricted to the confines of his memory.
He didn't believe me when I told him he was probably smarter than most of the people he serves.

My dad says that you can tell who someone really is by the way they treat the people who (they think) can do nothing for them.
Well, it is these very people who surround us the entire day: store clerks, taxi drivers, mail men, janitors, dishwashers, trash collectors, and the vegetable lady who may provide us the most interesting part of our day. No one is insignificant.

So, if you want an adventure, ask GOD to open your eyes to the wonder HE has for you to see in the people HE has positioned around you. Enjoy the beauty you find in the Unlovely, and the wisdom you find in the Simple.
Be surprised...and while you're at it, do a little surprising of your own ;)


  1. Thanks for posting your thoughts about the way we treat others. I love that God uses the weak to shame the proud/strong. His Holy Spirit can knock you out with "the least of these". I'm proud of you and your observations.

  2. Your dad sounds like a smart man. Here, too, there are very few job options especially after the war. Our drivers have advanced degrees and are fluent in several languages, but they drive a car because there is no work in their fields. You have given us a good reminder not to judge!