We were queuing up at the ice cream van when I noticed him. His face bore the marks of too many fights—a crooked nose and some scars. His clothes were rumpled, though clean. I stepped between him and my children, using my back to create a wall.

The first time he spoke I didn’t hear him clearly, and so just nodded to acknowledge him. I scarcely made eye contact with him. Because my wife wasn’t with me, he thought I was a single parent and gently said, “It’s hard raising them alone, isn’t it?” Something in his tone made me turn to look at him. Only then did I notice his children, and I listened to him tell me how long his wife had been gone. His soft words contrasted with his hard exterior.

That put me in my place! Once again I had failed to see beyond outward appearances. Jesus encountered people whose outward appearance could have turned Him away, including the demon possessed man in our reading for today (Mark 5:1-20). Yet He saw the needs of his heart and met them.

Jesus never fails to see us with love, even though we have scars of sin and a rumpled nature that shows in our stuttering faithfulness. May God help us to replace our pride with Jesus’ love.

If you look through the eyes of Jesus, you’ll see a needy world.


Randy Kilgore


Our Daily Bread