Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Looks Aren't Everything

1 Samuel 16:7
But God told Samuel, "Looks aren't everything.  Don't be impressed with his looks and stature.  I've already eliminated him.  God judges persons differently than humans do.  Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart."

We are accustomed to seeing fat, sleek squirrels in our forested back yard.  Their health and energy, I believe, is directly related to the sunflower seed offerings we generously provide for them beneath the squirrel-buster bird feeders.  Witnessing their frolicking through the trees, chasing one another about on the ground, and devouring the seeds grant us endless hours of amusement and joy at the wonder of God's creation.

Several weeks ago, however, as I observe the squirrels' give and take beneath the bird feeders, I notice something completely out of the norm.  I can't believe my eyes!  Can it possibly be?  Do I need the binoculars to confirm?  No!  There it is!  A squirrel with only half a tail!!!

I'm too confounded at the moment to grab my camera.  But I watch how the other squirrels break from their feasting to chase this 'different' squirrel away from their table.  They show no mercy, whatsoever.  And as if this little guy, who is given the accurate, if politically incorrect moniker, "Stumpy," by my husband, Danny, has done anything to deserve such treatment.

Born with an incomplete tail, it seems, Stumpy is doomed to be ostracized by his fellow squirrels, and excluded from their squirrel games.  I don't think Racer would approve of this shameful shunning one bit!

Amazingly, Stumpy makes a courageous dash for the squirrel table a few days ago, and God gives me the opportunity to snap these photos using my zoom lens.  How grateful I am for this!




Even without a proper tail, Stumpy is a handsome fellow, wouldn't you agree?

God tells us plainly that He doesn't look at the face, or in this case, the tail.  He looks into the heart.

Too often, we are put off by those who appear different; they don't look like us, dress like us, talk like us, and they certainly don't meet our expectations.  What an easy excuse this is to not regard them with respect, to show them love and kindness, to give them the honor due them as God's beloved children.

Let us resolve then, brothers and sisters, not to be impressed by a person's looks or status or stature, but with spiritual binoculars, see him or her as God sees.

God helped Samuel to choose David, the "least" of his brothers, as King of Israel.  In light of this, I choose to rename Stumpy, "David."

Could this little squirrel have a better name?  I think not.

Because looks aren't everything.

Amen!

29 comments:

  1. "Let us resolve" for sure Martha. Loved this post. What a fantastic lesson we can learn from God's creation and from one of God's spokespeople (that be you). :)

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the post today, Bill, and thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, God's creation has so much to teach us if we open our eyes and our hearts.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I think "Stumpy" is really cute! I am sorry for his misfortune...it could have been an accident that caused him to lose part of his tail. He may have escaped a predator when he was very young...anyway, it is sad that other squirrels ostracize him...but happy he is a survivor. God has made him strong because of (or in spite of) his infirmity. That's what often happens in our lives..."Paul's thorn in the flesh"...great lesson here today. Thank you. I know Racer would be a good friend to Stumpy.

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    1. Yes, Pamela, we, too, have been wondering how Stumpy lost his tail, whether it was from a predator he escaped, or if he was simply born this way. No matter, as you say here, it seems he is a survivor, albeit a lonely one. I'm sure he could use a friend like Racer. Come to think of it, we all could!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Maybe stumpy lost his tail by fighting with the other squirrels in your back yard... That would also explain the avoidance.
    For me, I am always amazed how many folks "kvell" over squirrels and shriek at rats. One is an urban squirrel and the other is a suburban rat.

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    1. I've heard that sentiment before concerning rats and squirrels, but since a talking squirrel is a main character in my novels, I can't help but love them and their quirky nature. As for Stumpy, that will remain a mystery . . .
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I agree with your sentiments in this post, Martha, Thank you.

    But it set me off thinking at a tangent. It often happens to me; thinking at a tangent. Especially when I am leaning against something.

    Anyway, you mentioned watching the squirrels eat. We often watch the birds eat in our garden, or we go to the park to feed the ducks and geese in the pond. Or at the zoo, we watch the animals feed. But what if the animals watched us eat? What if, every time we sat at table at home, a load of squirrels and birds came to our windows and watched us eat? Or as we sat at a restaurant they would gather to watch us eat. And wonder why we put salt and pepper on our food, or Parmezan cheese on our pasta, and what is that red stuff we drink from a bottle?

    That's me thinking at a tangent.

    God bless you Martha and your family.

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    1. Lol, Victor, what a mind you have! Yes, wouldn't that be odd if the tables were turned, so to speak, and the critters were gawking at us as we eat? You can offer your tangent thoughts any time you please here!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I love this, Martha. I'm so glad God sees us and accepts us just as we are, and I pray we may see more through His eyes. My heart is drawn to "Stumpy" since I'm kind of a cheer-leader of the underdog. :) No, Racer would definitely not treat Stumpy that way. :) Love and hugs to you!

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    1. I've always been drawn to the underdog, too, Trudy, and Stumpy plucked at my heartstrings big time. And like you, I'm so, so grateful God loves and accepts us just as we are. I don't know where I'd be without Him! As for Racer, I can picture him in my mind's eye, putting his arm around Stumpy's shoulder, and giving him much needed comfort and friendship.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Oh Martha, thank you for this post on looking at what is in the heart, rather than the outer package. I know all too well the pain of being ostracized due to being physically different, of not being welcome to join in play. Yet there are bright spots, where people don't see the differences and simply welcome the opportunity to make a new friend. I'm so thankful that God looks at our hearts!

    And I'm sure that Racer would lovely embrace Stumpy/David and give the squirrels who rejected Stumpy/David a lot of grief!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, I know you understand the pain of being ostracized all too well; but as you say, there are those in our lives who, like God, look at our hearts, not our differences or perceived infirmities. They love us as God's children.
      And as for Racer, I have to agree that he'd give those intolerant squirrels a piece of his mind about their shabby behavior toward Stumpy/David.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Martha, You and Stumpy brought us a vivid reminder today. Victor's comment was a "hoot" too! I just love reading your blog!
    Blessings, sweet sister.

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    1. Victor's comments, and his blog, are almost always beyond the pale humorous, Beckie. He's definitely a writer worth following, and has published some books, too, that are definitely worth checking out.
      And I'm so glad that Stumpy enabled me to write this reminder to us all - no matter what our appearances, we are God's precious children.
      Love and blessings!

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    2. Thank you Martha for your kind words.

      I'm glad I made you smile Beckie.

      God bless.

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    3. Victor, your posts and your books are always worth the promotion. I'm ordering more Father Ignatius stories this week with my amazing birthday $ from my generous mother.
      Love and blessings!

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    4. Thank you for your kindness and generosity, Martha. Please let me know what you think of the books you read. It is the only way it helps me improve and to keep going on. (And on ... and on ... and ... I am the cure of my own insomnia).

      God bless you, my friend.

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  8. I loved this, Martha, we should always look at others through spiritual binoculars. WK and I had a granddaughter that was very challenged. She could not speak and we are not sure if she could hear. When we were out with her, people would give us a wide berth. They would not look at her at all if they could help it. The fact was that she was beautiful with her big blue eyes. She is resting in the arms of the angels now. Stumpy is beautiful too with half a tail.

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    1. Nells, your sharing here about your granddaughter has brought tears to my eyes that flow over into my heart. "They would not look at her at all if they could help it." Oh, how this breaks my heart for her and for you!
      That she is now resting in Jesus' arms is a blessing, but you were a true blessing to her while she was here with us in this world. Blue eyes . . . mine exactly, as are my eldest granddaughter, Virginia's; the color we will never forget, but cherish always
      Stumpy/David is perfect, when seen through the lens of God.
      And we are, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  9. 1 Samuel is the next book I'll be reading ... finding it here front and center made me smile.

    The squirrel? Not so much ...

    ;-}

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    1. I think 1 Samuel is one of my favorite books, Linda, and I'm glad you are looking forward to reading it. As for the squirrels? I'm partial to them, even though I know how pesky and destructive they can be. I don't know if you're familiar with my novels, but Grey/Racer is the squirrel star of the show!
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Amen. Excellent reminder, Martha. Thank you, friend!

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    1. Thank you, Jason! I don't think we can be reminded enough to see others the way God sees them - with love.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. What a wonderful post, Martha. I always root for the little guys who are being excluded. The behavior of the other squirrels (tho inexcusable) could be created by the fact they communicate a great deal with their tails. POOR STUMPY--a small voice in the Woods!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. "A small voice in the Woods . . . " That could be it exactly, Lulu! They simply can't communicate with one another, so it sets up an unintended wall. I must say, I haven't seen Stumpy/David in our yard since taking the photos, and I can't help wondering where he's hiding and how he's feeling at being so excluded. Just hope he's finding enough to eat in this winter weather, but I know that God will provide.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. As the mother of several children who are "different," my heart always goes out to those who are singled out and rejected. How wonderful if we could all appreciate each one for their inherent beauty and perfection.

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    1. Yes, Galen, how absolutely wonderful that would be! We need to remember we are all made in the image of God.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Love Stumpy/David and the lesson you wove from him. How God continues to teach us when we pay attention, right?

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    1. Oh, yes, He does, Jean! It's all in paying attention.
      Love and blessings!

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