Strangers & Outward Appearances


I sat in church yesterday

And prayed that the person who walked in late

And sat near the front,

Who was fidgeting nonstop,

Zipping & unzipping his coat pockets,

Moving about continuously, & often

Fiddling with the cuff on his shirt sleeve or the sock in his shoe…

The person I did not recognize and had never seen before…

I prayed that he didn’t have a gun.

Yep, that’s where my mind went.

It made me nervous.

We hear of these things happening in our world today.

My church is a close-knit church.

I know most of the people there by first name.

This was a newcomer to me.

Now, I want newcomers. I welcome newcomers.   I want people to hear the truths in God’s Word and be forever changed in their hearts and lives.

But I don’t want to be at risk.

I like my “norm”.


I have had this feeling before at a park or playground with my grandchildren.

My eyes are on the alert.

I want all my senses that God has given me operating in full gear.

It’s a sad state that this world has gotten itself into.

It’s corrupt.

I have to notice the person that is at the playground without children.

I need to see where he/she is “lurking”.

I want my grandchildren close and within my grasp.

I desire their world to be clean and pure and untouched by evil.


Just last week I had the boys at the zoo.

It was drizzling rain so I bought them these cute little umbrellas.

The youngest could barely hold his little umbrella up.

It was too heavy and that brought lots of cute comments his way.

“Hey, Little buddy”…

I was fine with the comments, but DO NOT come to close to this precious child!


I can’t always be with my children and grandchildren.

The truth is even if I am with them, I only have so much power and strength.


I honestly can’t take down a predator in a church situation.

But, my prayers can make a difference.


Acts 2:40B

“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation”

It’s not something we can do on our own.

We need Jesus and the gift of His Holy Spirit within us.

He can prompt.

He can pray through us.

He can heal and bring hearts to Him.

I need not give up.


In Acts 2 just after the words

“save yourselves from this corrupt generation” were spoken,

the Bible says that 3000 accepted the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and were baptized all in one day!


My norm can stay my norm.

I need to keep praying.

I need to stay alert to my surroundings whether they are physical or spiritual.

My norm can be to

“continue to break bread in homes and eat together with glad and sincere hearts,

praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” (Acts 2:46)


And by God’s grace the

“Lord will add to our number daily those who are being saved” (Acts 2:47)


I can make a difference.

You can make a difference.

But not on our own…by the Spirit and Power of God.


Now, back to the person who made me nervous in church.

No harm came. He smiled at me as he left church that morning.

I’m glad.

Jesus says that His Father looks not at the outward appearance of a man, but at his heart. I need to do that as well.


“People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”. (1 Samuel 16:7b)


I need not be so “nervous” that I can’t see past my fear.

I need to ask for wisdom and guidance on a daily basis.


It’s a crazy & crooked world,

But God is very real and very much at work.

May 3000 and more come to know Him today!








2 thoughts on “Strangers & Outward Appearances

  1. It is a sad and sometimes scary world we live in. I often think about the part of the world where I live and my prayer is that, even if I meet a person who has evil intentions or maybe is considering evil acts…that because of “Christ in me,” they may reconsider their ways. It is hard to be wary, yet welcoming. (Wise as serpents and gentle as doves.) Thanks for your observations. Food for thought.


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