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Judging Books! (10.20.05--That Person!--Esther 3:5-6)



The other day, a jehovah’s witness came to my door. I’ve seen them many times in the past as they slowly travel down my driveway and descend upon my doorbell. I know what differentiates my faith from theirs and have learned stock answers to their statements that usually sends them packing in a matter of minutes. But, this time it was different. When I opened the door I actually looked into the eyes of the middle-aged man who stood with a an open tract in his hands and saw not the enemy, but a man just like me. Maybe his car had broken down yesterday or perhaps he and his wife had had words that morning. I didn’t know. But I was compelled somehow to shake his hand and invite him in.


A schoolteacher decided to travel across America and see the sights she had taught about. Traveling alone in a truck with camper in tow, she launched out. One afternoon a water pump blew on her truck. She was tired, exasperated, scared, and alone. No one seemed interested in helping. Leaning up against the trailer, she prayed, “Please God, send me an angel, preferably one with mechanical experience.”


Within four minutes, a huge Harley drove up, ridden by an enormous man sporting long, black hair, a beard and tattooed arms. He jumped off and went to work on the truck. Within another few minutes, he flagged down a larger truck, attached a tow chain to the frame of the disabled Chevy, and whisked the whole 56-foot rig off the freeway onto a side street, where he calmly continued to work on the water pump. The intimidated schoolteacher was too dumfounded to talk. As he finished the task, she finally got up the courage to say, “Thanks so much.” Noticing her surprise, he looked her straight in the eye and mumbled, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” With that, he smiled, closed the hood of the truck, and straddled his Harley. With a wave, he was gone as fast as he had appeared. (Larry D. Wright)


Judging books by their covers has become a national pastime of sorts for many. We put people not like us into a box and then shut the cover. They’re never able to crawl out because we aren’t willing to open the doors of our hearts. God’s Word teaches us that prejudice such as this grows out of personal pride (Esther 5:5-6). We put ourselves over others not because of what we know but because of what we don’t know. I spent a good half an hour talking with that Jehovah’s witness that day. We shared stories of middle age and life. I let him touch my faith that day believing that it would never be the stock answers that turned him to faith in Christ but that it would be the love of Christ itself working in me. An open box gives God more room to work than one we have closed.

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