Open the eyes of my heart

Published 5:32 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The shower peppers down on this spring morning. Yellow pollen-filled puddles give evidence of the rain washing the air clean making many an allergy sufferer’s day. As I’m enjoying a drink and getting my thoughts together a well dressed lady comes into my favorite haunt with her colorful umbrella and announces to whomever is within earshot, “What a miserable day!” Then she proceeds to shake her umbrella out all over the floor apparently oblivious to her rudeness.

A couple of mountain men with long unkempt beards smile when their order arrives and quietly say, “Thank you, little lady.” Their conversation is loud enough for their friends to hear, but low enough not to disturb others. I decide to move next to the mountain men escaping the loud and somewhat obnoxious chatter of the umbrella lady.

When I walked in this morning I was looking for a quiet place and noticed the fellows immediately. By the looks of them I thought they were probably loud and impolite so I sat elsewhere. When I realized that they were soft spoken, and kind I had to take a look at myself. How often do I make a judgment of a person’s character solely by their outward appearance? Too often I’m afraid.

And just like this time I have to wonder on how many occasions I’ve totally misjudged a really nice person. Wow! My grandmother always said, “Pretty is as pretty does.” This judgmental tendency is definitely not pretty. She was right on target with these words of wisdom.

The overall clad gentlemen left with kind words for their waitress. Since I like to write at this little coffee shop I’ve noticed plenty of people interact with the workers here. I’ve seen some people complain about the food or service. And come to think of it most of them appeared to be dressed for success.

Now I wonder if people of lesser means generally have more appreciation for others just trying to make a living. It’s something to think about for sure.

My next person of interest takes the table next to me. He proceeds to make conversation about the weather and his job at the flea market next door. His lime green tee shirt is a couple of sizes too small, and he appears to be childlike.

“You should come check out the flea market where I work. We have some really good stuff for only 50 cents.”

“I might just do that. That sounds really good. Thank you.”

Then he repeats himself. I smile, and thank him again.

I notice how he responds so kindly to his waitress. I decide I will go to the flea market later and make a point to see him. I’ll thank him for telling me about the great place where he works. Maybe I’ll mention to his boss that he’s bringing in business by telling folks about their great bargains.

I’m glad God reminded me today that man looks at the outside, but He looks at the heart.


Jan Penton Miller can be reached at