“Don’t trust what you see, even salt looks like sugar.”
1 Samuel 16:7: But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’
Today I am at work without makeup, yet again. Sometimes I wear it, sometimes I don’t. I’m in tennis shoes because my feet are killing me from wearing sandals all day yesterday. My nails are chipped and are frankly driving me nuts, but I haven’t had any time to do anything about it.
I’m mostly comfortable being the slightly frumpy but loveable mom, wife, and minister. I accept it out of inevitability because I only have so much time and discipline and don’t feel like spending it on looking pulled together. In part, I also choose it because I like to surprise people. I have often been told that the clothes make the man. However, some people cling to this idea as if Jesus himself had said it. For whatever reason, because of my apathy towards appearance, people sometimes don’t expect too much from me. I have fun proving them wrong.
But even I can get bogged down in the wish for the bright shiny lives I see on television, movies, and social media. My friends on Facebook seem to have perfect children and live in perfect homes and have always just come from a workout class and are about to eat a lovely salad.
Today’s quote was a helpful for reminder for me. Even salt looks like sugar. Sweet lives may only be sweet in appearance. Samuel was reminded of that, too, as he searched for a new king for Israel. Yes, David was handsome, but he was also the youngest, and at the time probably smelled like sheep. He wouldn’t have been what the world expected, but God looked on the heart.
When we see another person, we must challenge ourselves to do the same. We can’t assume someone is sugar or salt just by how they look. And we can’t compare ourselves to others whose lives look so sweet in a few photos. We must strive for our hearts to be sweet to God.
Rev. Jana Quisenberry is the minister at Brightwood Christian Church. She's an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, KY and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN, She now resides in Mt. Lebanon with her husband, two children, and dog, Sookie. Pastor Jana loves the church, science fiction, and coffee.