In this passage of Samuel, the brothers of Jesse pass before Samuel. He sees the outward appearance of Eliab, the oldest of Jesse’s sons, and becomes excited at seeing his physical appearance and says, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord corrected Samuel for seeing only the outward appearance and said to Samuel, “I have rejected him; the Lord doesn’t see as mortals see; they look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
How many times have we been like Samuel? The physical appearance of someone gives us a perception of who they are. We see someone and their appearance and say, “They look so good, they must have it all together.” We see a homeless person on the street and do our best to avoid them because of the way they look or smell. Sometimes we avoid other students in school because of the way they dress or by the way they look.
Physicality is a large part of how we perceive one another, and yet it can cloud your judgement as well. I have a friend who used to be homeless. He used to live in the woods behind one of the church’s lay leader’s house. He would come to the leader’s huddle, learn about the love of God, and then would go share it with the other homeless who lived in the woods with him. He doesn’t dress nice or wear a suit to church, but he believes in Christ with all his heart and shares that love with others through his work at the food pantry. By his physical appearance, you would not know this, but, by seeing his heart, you can see Christ.
How do you see others? By their appearance or by their heart? How is your appearance? Is your inward appearance as beautiful as your outward appearance?
Father God, help us to see as you see, to see the heart of not only those around us, but our hearts as well. Help us to love one another and recognize that true beauty comes from your love and Holy Spirit within us. Amen.