I’m Ken Jones, and this is a Classic State of Mind, with a word about: Oranges
I’m not sure who coined the phrase: ‘What you see is what you get.’ The obvious intent of that kind of little saying is that you can trust what you see to be real. It’s not unlike another phrase most people are familiar with: “If it looks like an orange, and it smells like an orange, and it tastes like an orange, it must be an orange.” Not bad sayings, as sayings go, I suppose. Generally speaking, my experience has been that the truth in that little saying is usually born out in reality.
Usually. But not always. I will tell you a true story:
THE SUN SHONE in the morning sky as she made her way to church. People drove up the winding road, found their parking places, and leisurely made their way into the worship service. Fellowship on the church patio was warm and friendly as members enjoyed a cup of coffee with friends, chatted about the week just passed and the one about to start.
One woman, however, did not stop to talk or even grab a cup of coffee as she approached the crowded patio area of the church. She had prepared well for this morning’s challenge- a class of seven-year-olds. Lesson material in hand, she briskly walked up the steps and into her classroom. She was not alone. Her own young daughter accompanied her and would be one of her students. She waited several minutes to start class, knowing that people often find it difficult to make it on time to the 8 o’clock education hour. But no one came. No one that is, except her own daughter. Undaunted by the size of her class, she began to teach a roomful of empty chairs and her own child. She told the story of Jesus and how He loves children. In eloquent simplicity, she talked of sin and forgiveness and eternal life- all in words a young child could understand. She shared about how much Jesus longs to live in the hearts of everyone who will let Him in. And then, lovingly, carefully, she asked the solitary student- her own daughter- if she would like to receive Jesus into her life.
If you had been passing by the ordinary classroom on that ordinary Sunday, you might have felt sorry for a teacher who had only one student. You might have felt a tinge of embarrassment for that student who had to sit with the teacher all by herself. But if you could have been a fly on the wall and listened as a young citizen was added to the kingdom of God, you would have known how important every single person is to Jesus. And you would have been honored to share in one of the most precious moments any parent can have, leading their own child into a personal relationship with Christ.
“If it looks like an orange, and it smells like an orange, and it tastes like an orange, it must be an orange.” … unless what you see isn’t what you get.
When you serve an extraordinary God, there is no such thing as an ordinary day. Ask Saul as he made his way toward Damascus. Ask the woman at the well, after she met a Man who told her everything she had done. Or better yet, ask that mother, that teacher, that lover of children, who taught one student and a roomful of empty chairs.