Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What Do You See?

"Why are you old, Teacher Ruth?" asked five-year-old Jessica one day in the classroom.

"Ummmmm, well. . . "

Jessica pondered for a second or two.

"Were you just born that way?"

I enjoyed Jessica's innocent questions and had a good chuckle. After all, this is one of the joys of teaching little children. They are so refreshing in their honesty—no white lies or tact, they say exactly what they are thinking.

Another of these moments came a few days ago, courtesy of Thato, also five.

"Teacher, you look like you are dressed for Halloween."

I looked down at my top with its silver and gold butterflies.

Halloween? Really? I thought it was just a pretty top.

Besides, Halloween was long past and, as a Christian, I never join in with Halloween celebrations, let alone dress up for them. But Thato saw me dressed for Halloween. He was wrong, but that was his perception.

His comment got me thinking about how easy it is to look at the outward appearance of people and draw conclusions based on what I see. The smart well-dressed lady may appear confident, but inside she may be shaking in fear. The sloppy teenager may seem not to care about his clothes, but inside he dreads being different to his peers and every item of his outfit has been carefully chosen. A bright smile may mask deep-seated concerns and worries.

Recently I chatted to a beautiful young mother. Her upbeat manner and our initial conversation indicated that all was well, but when I took the time to find out more about her, she revealed how she really felt, which was in total contrast to my first impressions. Now I can pray for her and encourage her.

1 Samuel 6:17 states "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." How awesome is it that the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, really knows each one of us? He sees through our exteriors and masks to who we really are and offers us His love. What a wonderful encouraging thought!


  1. That's funny! The butterflies are beautiful and very non-Halloween to me... it's true how we can easily not see beyond the first impressions. Always a good reminder! Thank you.

  2. Truly, "Out of the mouths of babes" and I agree with Jenn. I love your butterfly top! Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Thanks, Ruth Ann, for this reminder. It is always a comfort to me that, while some people might not understand what I am on about as a writer or even in general, God sees my heart in it all and not only understands me perfectly but loves me just as I am.

  4. Ruth, great post! Appearances can be deceptive and I love the candid observations from your students. Thanks for sharing :)