The cell phone’s sharp ring at 3 a.m. broke the peaceful silence of the night. It was July 4th weekend and my husband and I had just arrived at our lake house that afternoon in anticipation of  the long weekend.  A few brief sentences from our son confirmed the reason for the call.  Our first grandchild was about to be born.

Filled with excitement, we dressed quickly, grabbed our bags, locked up the house and began the hour and a half drive into Little Rock. Shortly after entering the city limits my husband spotted a wrecked car on the side of the expressway with a couple of bystanders near a man lying on the road.  Because he is a medical doctor, he pulled over to see if he could assist in any way.

Bending over the young man to check vital signs and his state of consciousness, he quickly learned that the driver had fallen asleep while on his way home from work. Though bleeding in several places, he appeared coherent, dazed but not in a great deal of pain and able to move his limbs and neck.  Assured that an ambulance had been called and there were people who would stay with him until medics arrived, we continued on to the hospital where our grandchild was soon to enter the world.

Rushing down the hall of Labor and Delivery we found the room where our daughter-in-law was in labor but before we could enter were stopped by a nurse who asked about the blood on my husband’s clothing. When he told her there was an accident on the road and he had stopped to help, she suggested he change into one of the doctor’s scrub suits for sanitary purposes.

When she looked up in between contractions to see her father-in-law walking in wearing a scrub suit looking as if he were ready to deliver her baby our sweet daughter-in-law panicked!   She grabbed our son’s hand and quickly asked, “WHAT is your dad doing here in a scrub suit?  Does he think he’s going to deliver this baby?  Because that is NOT going to happen!”  We all laugh about it now but at the time I’m sure to her it was anything but funny.

Our July 4th baby was born a few hours later and the story has a happy ending.  But the lesson to be learned here is that THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR TO BE AT FIRST GLANCE.  So often we look at people and make assumptions, value judgements and decisions based on what our eyes see or our ears hear.  But much of the time there is more to their story than we know.

The Bible says that “man looks on the outward appearance”, but that God ” looks upon the heart.” My guess is that if we could all see what God sees or even know half of what He knows we would be slower to judge and quicker to love.  I pray for His grace to fill my life so that when I look at someone I can see more than the external façade.  I hope to see lines of the story being written on their lives.

Do you have a story about misguided first impressions? Or do you feel as if sometimes people make a mistaken assumption about you?  If so I’d like to hear about it in the comment section below.  We can all learn from each other’s experiences.