“David’s gifts seemed hidden from his whole family, but God showed David and his whole family something they did not see – that David was to be blessed to be the leader of the people of Israel.”
(Focus for Worship,
Learning, Serving, p. 52)
At the bar in the local hotel in a small town in rural South Australia, in the early sixties, a single figure cut a lonely image. The hotel, the bar, and the bar stool had become his home-away-from home, or maybe his home, as he sought friendship and acceptance in a town that seemed to push him to the periphery.
After a few beers, he found courage to attempt to engage in conversation and try to tell his story. He proudly told of the time during World War I when he fought side-by-side with his friend and now Premier of the State. No one paid much attention; their preconceived notions and prejudices thought the stories to be the ramblings and imaginings of a lonely, intoxicated man.
Until one day when the town was abuzz with excitement because of a planned visit by the Premier. The crowd gathered at the Town/Institute Hall, the red carpet stretching from the curbside to the entrance of the building. The council officials, other dignitaries, and a young child in Sunday best, clutching a posy of flowers assembled and prepared to greet the Premier as he stepped from the car.
The Premier arrived to great applause. As he moved toward the outstretched hands of the dignitaries, he spotted someone at the back of crowd. The Premier stepped away from the red carpet and made his way through the crowd, stopping when he reached the one who was at the edge of the gathering. “This is my friend, Tom,” he exclaimed, “he was with me when I was wounded during the war.”
When the prophet Samuel is commissioned to anoint a new king, preconceived notions and prejudices are tested as seven sons are brought to him. Finally, God convinces Samuel to look beyond appearances and see what is not immediately apparent.
The biblical background this week reminds us that “as people of faith we are often called upon to trust in things that are beyond ordinary means of seeing.”
Something to ponder: What hidden abilities and potential remain un-discovered because of preconceived ideas and notions?
Something to share: What story would you tell about looking beyond appearances and seeing that which is not immediately apparent?