Looks can be deceiving

Farmville Enterprise column ~ February 1, 2017

For several years we have taken a group of youth to Winter Jam to join a packed house at the PNC Arena in Raleigh. It is a Christian music tour that showcases ten or so bands while having plugs for adoption and child sponsorship plus encouraging words from a few speakers. Winter Jam includes different genres of music and gives ten percent of its PNC Arena proceeds to the Raleigh Rescue Mission.

Usually I pay close attention to which singers will be performing. This week I only remembered that we would hear Crowder, Britt Nicole and Newsong. At one point in the evening a thin guy with skinny jeans and white hair spiked straight up in a six-inch mass came out on the stage. His look was not typical of the kind of artist I generally enjoy.

The funny thing was, the former American Idol star ended up being one of my favorite singers of the night. Most of Colton Dixon’s songs were very familiar as they played a lot on Christian radio. I never had seen a name or face with them. Many of his lyrics conveyed a real spirit of humility. “This life I hold so close, Oh, God I let it go. I refuse to gain the world and lose my soul. So take it all I abandon everything I am. You can have it. The only thing I need is more or you, less of me.” (More of You)  “I have won and I have lost. I got it right sometimes but sometimes I did not. Life’s been a journey. I’ve seen joy; I’ve seen regret. Oh and you have been my God through all of it.” (Through All of It)

What a pity it would be to cut ourselves off from getting to know people who don’t seem “like us.” Jesus interacted with a Samaritan woman, religious leaders, tax collectors and children. We can tell very little about a person just by looking at them. As the Lord said to the prophet/priest in the Old Testament as Samuel was instructed to anoint someone to succeed King Saul, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

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