“Kids at school were nice in class, but none of them ever took the time to get to know me. I also hate how I look. I look too young for my age and that affects how they see me”.
“I’m so sad that they missed out on who you really were. Those who took the time to actually know you became loyal, true friends for life, and saw what an amazing guy you were. People get busy looking at their phones and too often they miss out on real relationships.” – Braden’s Mom
By Cathy Speed:
A few weeks ago, Caitlin and I went to a mother/ daughter Christmas party, which ended with a wild and crazy white elephant gift exchange. As people began choosing presents, they so often reached for the most beautiful packages, the shiniest wrapping. Yet we found some of the very best gifts had been wrapped in plain brown paper.
Most of us tend to look at the “outside wrappings” when we see people. If we could train our eyes to begin to see people “Inside-Out” we will find something so amazing…
We’ll begin to see people not just as bodies walking past us in the hallways at school or work, but as hearts! Hearts that long for us look past their “wrappings”, and see their souls. That’s what people are hungry for. It’s what Braden was hungry for. Our son was so deeply relationship- driven. He needed relationship like he needed air to breathe. Not surface, but real heart relationship. He ached to be seen… REALLY seen… known deeply for who he was. He had people to talk to in class. He wasn’t being bullied this year. He simply needed someone to stop and actually see him, know him, reach into his life.
Braden needed his peers, the kids, to see past the wrapping paper of his outside… to see him, and to know the gift he was.
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “People judge by the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”.
So what can WE do?
In our culture which is so “Appearance driven”, with perfectly crafted social media images, we can actively teach our kids to be real and authentic. Take off our own masks of perfection. We can teach them to look past what they see, into the hearts around them each day.
We can begin to teach them, and to learn ourSELVES, to see people “INside out”.
Prayer for Readers:
Lord, I ask that you would help us to learn to see INTO the hearts of those around us. We so often miss the most beautiful gifts You send, as we hurry through our lives looking only at the surface.