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October 10, 2023

My Father's Eyes

Recently Jim and I were driving back from visiting one of our daughters.  We wanted to get south of Atlanta before stopping for the night so we didn't have to deal with Atlanta commuting traffic the next morning.  I found a hotel to stay at, hoping it would be clean and nice.  I believe Psalms 37:23 which says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord."  Even when I forget to pray about the details of life, I believe God directs my steps.  He did that day by directing us to that hotel. 

We got into the hotel after midnight.  I woke up early, as usual, even though it had been a short night's sleep.  Since Jim was still sleeping, I took my computer to the breakfast area so I could do some writing while having coffee.  I didn't intend to eat anything.

However, when I got to the breakfast area, there was a very nice breakfast all laid out.  No one else was in the room except for an older lady who was the breakfast attendant.  She was sitting at one of the tables eating her breakfast.  I could tell she had already done a lot of work; the whole room was immaculate.  In fact, I've never seen a hotel breakfast area that clean, even in big fancy hotels.   

Even though I hadn't planned on eating it didn't seem right to have all that food prepared and no one eating it.  I asked the attendant, Emily (not her real name) if she had made the food.  She nodded her head and said, "yes I did".  I told her it looked wonderful as I took some country fried steak and sausage gravy.   

As I ate, I watched as Emily finished her breakfast and started working again.  She wiped everything down, even though there wasn't a crumb anywhere.  She was very unpretentious as she diligently went about her work.  Even though she could have retired years earlier, she preferred to faithfully work.  She touched my heart in a way that few people do.   

I felt as though God wanted me to give her one of my books, The Loyalty of Ittai.  So I went out to my car and got a copy.  I wrote a note, signed it for her and stuck a tip in it.  As she walked by, I told her I wanted to give her a copy of my book.

I could tell Emily was really moved by the gesture.  She thanked me very sincerely and gave me a hug.  After she finished the work she was doing, she sat down to look at it.  She said several times, "This is really great, thank you so much".  Since the book is based on Bible stories, I hadn't been sure that she would be interested in it.  It turns out that she's a Christian and was thrilled to have it.

A few minutes later the hotel manager came into the room. Emily showed her the book, excited to show her the precious gift.  The manager read the back of the book where it gives a summary of it.  She said, "That is a really good book!  That is a really good book!"  I asked if she wanted a copy, which she did.  So I went back to the car to get her one.  At this point in the life of my book, I've given away more copies than I've sold.  However, I truly believe I was to give those two copies away.   

I ended up not getting any writing done that morning.  After talking with Emily and the manager, it was time to leave.  I said goodbye to them and went back to my room to pack.   

There are so many times in my life that I am rushing from one task to another.  I wonder how many times I've rushed past someone like Emily.  Emily is like a precious gem surrounded by pieces of broken colored glass.  If you rush by, you won't see the gem. I'm glad that day God helped me to slow down enough to see the gem.

Jesus always took the time to see the gems among the glass.  There was Zacchaeus, up in a tree where no one saw him or cared about him.  But Jesus did.  There was the woman at the well, getting water in the middle of the day so no one would see her.  But Jesus did.  There was a blind man, who everyone tried to silence so he wouldn't bother the Master.  But Jesus saw him.   

I want to be more like Jesus, taking time to see the gems around me, the ones that most people pass by without noticing.  The ones like Emily who will probably have more reward in heaven than many people, because she diligently served even when no one saw her.  I'm glad I saw her that day.  I pray that I will see more of the gems that God puts in my path.  I pray that I will see people how Jesus sees them.  I pray I will have my Father's eyes.  

My Father's Eyes

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