Seeing into the Heart

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by Miriam McKenney


But the Lord Said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:1-13)


Samuel is searching for a new king – a king that God has already provided from the sons of Jesse. Samuel goes through all of the rituals to get him to the place where he would see one of these sons and anoint him king of Israel Samuel sees one of Jesse’s sons and makes the mistake of assuming that he was the one. God then reveals that God looks at the heart of a person, unlike mortals do. Sound familiar?

So as I continue to live into the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, remaining mindful of the gift of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, I consider God’s message about seeing as mortals see; seeing from the outside instead of looking inside into people’s hearts. We must believe that we can do this. If we are children of God, and God lives in us, then we can see into each other’s heart. Even if it’s just a glimmer.

Jesus preached, taught, and lived a life of love. Samuel taught us that God has something in store for each of us that we may not understand or comprehend in ourselves, or in each other. How do we do what we can to bring out God’s gifts in ourselves, in our loved ones, or in strangers?

Let’s start by listening to God’s advice to Samuel. Be open to showing what’s in your heart, so that others can see it. Look into the hearts of those around you. What do you see? What do you want to see?

Let’s also try to live into the great commandment – love God, love my neighbor as I love myself. Not just the beautiful ones.


How can you shine a light into the hearts of others, and let them see yours? How do you keep yourself from judging a book by its cover? Or is it okay to do so? When?



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