by David Sisler

The man sitting at the counter turned around when he heard the noise. He swallowed hot, scalding coffee without blinking, then dropped a five dollar bill, the smallest denomination he had, onto the saucer, and stood up. "Gotta run, Marge," he said, hurried to his car and drove away.

Marge, the cook and the waitress at the small diner, spoke over her shoulder, "See ya, Ron."

She turned as he went through the door and then looked at the fiver. "Wonder what got into him," she thought. "He usually leaves 50 cents for a 45 cent cup of coffee."

When Marge glanced out the window, she understood Ron's generosity. He wasn't being generous at all. He simply wanted to get away before a gang of bikers reached the diner.

More than two dozen bikers rode their machines to a stop in the parking lot. One man, dressed in the biker's stereotypical garb, black leather and chains, dismounted and walked inside while the rest waited, motors revving.

There was silence from the three remaining people in the diner as the biker, his long hair tied back with a piece of leather, his forearms tattooed, walked up to Marge.

"Where's the phone?" he grunted.

Marge pointed to the corner. The only sound in the diner was the tattoo of his hard leather heels on the tile floor. Then he dropped a coin and dialed a number.

What happened next, no one in the diner could have predicted. The hard lines on the biker's face softened as he responded to the person on the other end of the line. "Hi, Mom," he said. "Just wanted to let you know I'll be home late tonight."

In a world which fashions God in its own image, one of God's statements to Samuel is as unexpected as the rough biker who stopped to call his mother. He said, "God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Does it shock you to hear God say, "My thoughts are not your thoughts. My mind doesn't work like your mind. My ways are not your ways. I don't operate the way you do"? When, you, like Samuel, look at a person's face, the physique, and the resume, are you surprised when God says, "Don't look at how tall or how handsome he is. Look at the man he is on the inside"?

Can you understand the grief stricken mother who said, "My daughter, my only child, died just a few months before she would have turned 13. I'm having such a hard time dealing with her death. I miss her so much. My faith in Jesus is so weak, but I'm not giving up. I want to understand His ways."

How does God look at things? God sees the secrets we do not see. So many people are afraid because God can see inside of them.

They imagine that God looks with the eyes of a detective investigating a sordid crime. They never understand that His are the eyes of a lover, beholding one He loves supremely.

They imagine that God only looks with suspicion. They never understand that He looks with trust.

They imagine that God only looks for rust. They never understand that He looks for gold.

God sees the widow drop her last two coins into the collection box. He knows our prayers before they are ever spoken. He sees love which has no adequate means of expression. He sees the anguish of a grieving mother.

God sees beyond human reason. Samuel was seeking for a man to anoint as king. His first choice was the oldest son of a man named Jesse. His last choice was Jesse's youngest son, David. But David had greater, inside, qualifications. David was God's choice. And it was all because of grace.

God says that His thoughts are higher than ours. From that perspective He sees everything that we are. From that vantage point He knows everything that touches us. You will never understand all of God's ways, but understanding that He loves you, can you trust Him?


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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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