Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.”
I smiled as she slowly approached the auction check-in table and asked for a bidder number. Her curly, silver hair framed a sweet, wrinkled face. Reaching a well-manicured hand into her purse, she grabbed her wallet and passed me her ID. Glancing at the photo on the plastic to verify the information and image, my eyes widened and I did a double take. Instead of handing me her driver’s license, this elderly lady had handed me her conceal and carry card.
In disbelief I again scanned the picture on the card to compare it with the gentle lady’s face. Sure enough, this little grandma was packing heat! Who would have ever thought?
How often do we judge people by what we see? We look at someone’s appearance and make assumptions about their situation. If the person is smiling, they must be a happy person. If they are wearing expensive clothes, they must be rich. If they are really friendly, they must be confident and well adjusted.
Yet so often people are concealing and carrying what they feel on the inside by acting in a way that hides their true feelings. Some of the happiest people I know, whose smiles bring the sun into a darkened room, are actually struggling with deep hurts beneath the surface. Others who push themselves forward and take charge at times have deep feelings of inadequacy. Still others cover their pain by dressing to the nines.
Sometimes I stand in a large crowd and search the faces, watching the laughter and catching snippets of random conversation. As I peruse the individuals of the group, I wonder what they are dealing with behind closed doors. Have some of them been abused? Have others been victims of theft? Have some recently lost a loved one, or are any struggling with a fatal disease? In any group of people there will always be someone who is concealing and carrying huge burdens.
In the quiet moments, when each person is alone, the anxiety in his heart can weigh him down. Yet a good word may just be what he needs to lift the sadness. We have this message of hope for those who are hurting. It is found in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He has come to heal the brokenhearted. He has come to give the hope of a better life. He has come to bring joy and to give it to the full.
Let’s always remember to have a ready word of encouragement for each person we meet. Don’t judge people by the way they look. You never know who might be concealing and carrying deep needs . . . and maybe even packing heat.