…man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
Brian always took a lot of teasing and ribbing, even as far back as Primary school, but it had now followed him into the workplace, and he couldn’t shake it off. Names like ‘titch’, ‘tiny’, and ‘shorty’ were all he had known, and although he didn’t like it, what could he do? The growing phase of life was over he thought, so he would stay short, and he didn’t relish the prospect. A girl would be happy to be called petite, but there is no equivalent name for a boy. Brian was well liked at work, and had some friends, but it is no surprise that for no real reason he also felt small inside, and he couldn’t shake that off. He was seen as insignificant, and that is how he saw himself too.
He cast his mind back to those social dancing lessons at school. How he always hoped the ground would open up and swallow him. After all, what girl wanted to be seen dancing with a boy her own height or even smaller? That had left an indellible stain on his heart, and persisted into adulthood. They didn’t want to dance with him years before, so what would be different now? The result was isolation and loneliness.
During a normal work day, the fire alarm rang. It was the first Monday of the month so that was always a drill, but something struck Brian as different. Then a manager shouted at the top of his lungs, “Fire, Fire, get out into the assembly point” and at that, it was every man for himself. As he started to make his way to the nearest exit, he heard a cry but couldn’t see anyone because the smoke was becoming thick, but there it was again. By now, Brian was in the office area alone. Well, alone except for the person crying for help. By following the sound, Brian found a secretary cowered in a corner, injured and frightened. All her pals had made for the door, leaving her behind. Oh, they figured, someone would come looking when the register was called, but the smoke was replaced by flames of fire that licked round about them. Without any hesitation, Brian scooped the girl up in his arms and fought his way through the heat and flames to the outside air, where he let the girl down, and then promptly collapsed. Being smaller than average, Brian’s lungs were not as able to cope in the smoky atmosphere. He knew this, but carried on at the expense of his own safety and health. The girl? Oh she recovered fully, and is now his wife, and a lovely couple they make too.
What made the difference to Brian? It wasn’t his quick thinking brain, and it certainly wasn’t his brawn. Turns out there is another factor in every relationship which is often overlooked, and it is the heart. It was his heart that pushed Brian through the smoke and flames. It was his heart that didn’t allow him to give up. He didn’t know who he was carrying to safety, but the character of his heart meant everything to the young girl he saved. And save her he did, because almost as soon as they were outside in the air, the mostly wooden two storey structure collapsed. Brian didn’t know it but he was saving his future wife’s life and all because he followed his heart.
I don’t know about you, but I am glad that our gracious God doesn’t look on the outside to make his mind up about us. He looks on the heart because that is a better gauge of the man or woman than height, weight, or intelligence. So, if you feel too small, too heavy, too dim witted to matter to anyone else, think of Brian, but mostly think that God loves you just the way you are. After all, He fashioned you and He doesn’t make any mistakes. You are perfect in His sight especially when your heart is right with Him. If you haven’t done so already, pray to God and confess your failings. He will continue to love you just the same, but I guarantee that you will now have the solid assurance that He loves you unconditionally, and that is the biggest heart decision you will make in your life.