Some time ago, I was at the grocery store and was in the process of transferring my groceries from the cart into the trunk of the car when I dropped several bags. In one of those bags was net pouch filled with oranges. Unfortunately, the net bag was either already broken when I picked it out in the store or, it broke in the fall. Oranges went everywhere. Because the space I was parked in was rather sloped, my oranges started rolling pell-mell down the slope and into busy traffic.
Walking toward the store, right in the pathway of my runaway oranges, were two young men (in their late teens) dressed in the punkest of punk attire–complete with two foot high, super gelled, dangerously pointy Mohawks and dog collars and wrist bands with spikes. One had large (and I’m sure heavy) metal chains hanging from his shoulders and waist. The other was a canvas of tattoos. Both of his bare arms were inked from the shoulders to the fingertips. This one also sported a spike in his nose that was no less than four inches long from tip to tip–each almost reaching his separate earlobes.
I’ll be honest, in that first few seconds I thought, uh oh.
Their appearance did not instill in me a aura of safety or peacefulness. I don’t know what I was expecting… Perhaps I thought they’d pick up the oranges and start chucking them at me, or others. Perhaps I was afraid they’d use the oranges to damage the other cars in the lot. Could I be held responsible if they did? Maybe I was just afraid they’d make fun of me, ridicule me, make me feel like a clumsy, doddering old fool. Whatever fear it was I had in my heart, concerning the young “punks”, kept me frozen to the pavement as my oranges escaped.
To my complete surprise and utterly genuine grateful relief, the two young men started chasing and capturing my runaway oranges. I followed soon after. In no time, between the three of us, we had round up all the fruit and had converged upon my grocery cart, still sitting by the open trunk of the cart. We put the oranges into an unbroken bag. And, be I knew it, these wonderful young gentlemen had emptied my cart and filled the trunk with my groceries
I offered them money. They would not take it. I gushed with gratitude and both of them blushed with humility and said no. The be-chained one said, “our mamas taught us right ma’am. Couldn’t have done anything else.” Then, they walked away before I could say another word.
Were they Christians, like me? I’ll never know, but I’ll always assume so…their mamas taught them right.
Just goes to show that you can never know the true person from the clothes (and spikes) they wear. The real soul of a human being resides inside, in the heart of their very being.
Don’t worry about what you look like, ever. Worry about what others see in your actions, in what you say and how you act. BE who you are on the inside. That’s all that matters.