We are all raised with prejudice, from our cultural education to our natural likes and dislikes.
How do we differentiate the book from the cover?
When I was in my late teens, I attended a number of churches and bible studies. During one of those bible studies I encountered an elderly couple, very friendly in personality but not up to regular hygiene standards. Their clothes were warn and they had that elderly unwashed odor.
After the bible study they invited many of us over to their home for coffee. The “snob” part of me was reluctant but their kindness was alluring, so I tagged along with my friends. When we entered their home, the first thing I noticed was all the cats, and the cat box smell. The furniture was old and dirty. As I walked in, flees began to jump on me. There were thousands of them. It was as if the rugs had become alive there were so many. We all followed the old lady into the kitchen devoid of rugs, and she began to make coffee. She opened the cupboard and took out some sandwich cookies. They were the kind that you get 500 in the pack for 99 cents. I was hoping for homemade but beggars can’t be choosers.
I had evaluated the situation and had made my judgment call. I didn’t have any desire to return and chalked it up to a couple of kind and loving, but smelly, dirty old people.
She poured me a cup of coffee and I drank. It was fantastic! It was the best cup of coffee I had ever had. I was stunned. How could something so good come out of something that looked so bad. I remarked to the old woman that I wished to know the brand of the coffee so I could make it myself. She told me the name and how she added egg shell to the grounds before brewing. I have never been able to match it, to this day.
I was so totally blessed by that old couple. The torn sweater that she was wearing, his dirty overalls and the living floor rugs all vanished from my mind. It was the kindness and hospitality that over rode my cultural indoctrination and snobbery.
When I think of this experience, it is held close to my heart. Sometimes I get a little teary and am so thankful to have learned love from the example set by an elderly couple who offered me a simple cup of coffee, that became a major life lesson of the heart.
You can’t righteously judge a book by its cover. “judge not according to appearance but judge righteous judgement.” John 7:24