By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star
"For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." — 1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NKJV)
This week, I was moved by a very touching experience. I went hunting with three friends. On this trip were two preachers and two car dealers. Planned was an afternoon of bird hunting at Millbrook Plantation in Stonewall.
As we prepared for the hunt, our eldest member, Jimmy Rea, came out with old hunting boots that were taped together with duct tape. With all the money spent on expensive guns, bird dogs, and equipment, these shoes looked somewhat “out of place.”
With all the joking and posturing that men can do, the shoes soon became the focus. It had been several years that these shoes had been worn to our hunt, duct tape and all. The preachers even suggested we take up an offering and buy Jimmy a new pair of shoes. He laughed but said he would keep what he had.
Later in the hunt, I learned the story behind the shoes. Fifteen years earlier, Jimmy’s son, Sam was tragically killed in a farm accident. I happened to be at his home as we searched for Sam and had to report to Jimmy and his wife about Sam’s death. We also had to tell Sam’s wife who held their three-month-old son, T.J.
Sam was an avid hunter and outdoorsman. The shoes Jimmy Rea was wearing were the shoes his son had 15 years ago.
When I realized that old man was living out the memory of his son, the silver duct tape took on new meaning. Instead of needing Jimmy Rea to wear shoes like ours, I found myself wanting to put duct tape on mine. If only we could have known what was behind what we saw!
The next time you find yourself judging someone else by what you see, remember, you can’t see what is in the heart. Be careful what you say. You never know when one man’s duct tape is another man’s treasure.
Next year, if we hunt again, I am bringing enough duct tape for everyone!
Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www. psdbc.org.