You can never tell what a person is going through or what they’ve been through in their past just by casual observation. This Sunday I heard a lady talking about how her 16 year old daughter Autumn was almost killed when a horse stepped on her when she was a toddler. Before I heard her story I had not paid much attention to this woman. Now that I know the painful trial she and her family endured, I want to know more about this person. I made my way to her and we exchanged pleasantries. Then I told her how I almost lost one of my kids when she was 7 weeks old. She looked at me with the same amazement I had when I first heard her story. This broke the ice and now I’m compelled to know this woman more.
Last month I heard another shocking story. I was sitting close to a man who looks just like the actor Morgan Freeman; I had to take a closer look to see if it really was. By the way, I am a huge fan of said actor. I kept running into this same man and I would imagine that he must have a grand life because the peace that surrounds him, gave me the impression that perhaps he wakes up everyday and sings,” Zippididoodah Zippideeay, my oh my oh what a wonderful day!” Then I heard the most amazing story about this man.
He was handed a mic and he began to share his personal tragedy. He said his name was Willie; he had lost 3 children in a house fire and soon after he lost 2 more children in a second house fire. My lower jaw fell wide open and I felt it touch the floor below. I leaned forward as my heart began to weep for this man’s great loss. He also shared his faith and said that it was God that had brough him through the whole crisis. Before I left that day I made sure I went to him and I gave Willie a big hug; then something amazing happened, we found comfort in our hug because unbeknownst to Willie , I shared in his pain since I too have experienced the heart ache that comes from losing your whole family.
We are all books. We all wear different covers; some are dazzling and colorful. When I chose my own book cover for my book AS CLEAR AS CLAIRE GETS, I wanted it to be eye catching and inviting. My story is not an easy read and knowing that, I had to design a colorful, fun, cover that would draw people in; once they’re in they’re hooked. Other book covers are mild and peaceful betraying the tragedy that lies between the pages of the book.
Whatever you’ve been through, the cover doesn’t matter one bit. We all start out with a blank book and it’s up to us to fill in the pages. My book starts out with one tragedy after the next, but I’m going to make sure at the end of my life, on the last page, you’re going to read that I became an over comer and a conqueror through my faith in God. Some people’s books start and end in tragedy; don’t let that be you. Choose instead to use your pain to help others. Then there are other books that start out in victory only to end terribly; what could have possibly happened?
Next time you meet someone new, pretend you’re in a library or a book store even, and be prepared to handle them with as much care and attention that you would give that book you’re considering as your your next great read. It is true: One cannot read a book by its cover; neither can one pass judgment on anyone just by merely glancing at their book cover.
I looked into your eyes,
I felt your pain.
I looked into my heart,
my pain is yours- we’re both the same.
“Don’t judge so that you won’t be judged. For the way you judge others is how you will be judged-the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you.”