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Calvin Miller reminds us of the fable of the little girl whose mother's face was hideously scarred from an early injury. As the little girl grew, made friends, and gained her own identity, she became more and more ashamed of her mother's horrid appearance. As she walked down the street with her mother, she noticed people moving over to the far side of the walk or even crossing the street to avoid them. Gradually, the girl found ways to avoid being with her mother in public. Eventually, the girl became an adult, married, and moved to another town. Her lonely mother suffered financial setbacks and faced basic hunger. Her daughter continued to ignore her, even in such destitute circumstances.

One day the daughter discovered an old diary of her mother's. It described a horrible fire that swept through their home. The mother rushed into the burning house, scooped her daughter into her arms, and ran back out, burning herself beyond belief. The truth dawned on the girl. Her mother's horrific scars came from saving the daughter's life.

A new kind of shame raced through her heart and soul. She went to her mother and threw her arms around what now appeared to be a beautiful face. In tears she expressed her gratitude for all her mother had done. A new love relationship controlled their lives from then on (Miller, Until He Comes, p. 139).

So often we depend on outward appearances as we choose our leaders and friends. We do not look behind appearances to find the truth about a person, a program, or an organization and their abilities to help us. Israel kept ...

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