don’t stare

“It isn’t polite to stare.”

My mom would say that to me when I was a child and found something interesting. Okay, not something, but rather someone. I must have seen many interesting people (interesting to me) as I remember hearing this phrase often.

Recently this phrase came to mind as I was checking out at my neighborhood CVS. Yes, the CVS that was just remodeled and is about 10 yards from the front door of our apartment building. Downtown living is pretty cool!

Anyway – back to my story.

I am waiting in line to check out and find myself staring at one of the cashiers.

don’t stare

He is bald and has tattoos all over his head. All. Over.

don’t stare

He also has gauges in his earlobes

don’t stare

It looks like one tattoo right in the center of his forehead is a cross with a word written above it.

don’t stare

But I think it says “truth”

don’t stare

I end up being helped by the other cashier and don’t get a good look at what the word says.

But, man, I wanted to.

As I left the store I began to think about the art that this one person had on his head.

Isn’t art to be admired?

Isn’t art to be appreciated?

Isn’t art to be acknowledged?

Surely, in this case, staring would not have been rude.

Surely, if this guy has thought through the tapestry inked over his head, he would be happy to share the meanings and stories behind it.

Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to ask him. If I do, I will let you know.

This incident made me think about that lesson my mom wanted to teach me – about staring being rude. I don’t think that is always the case. Often times, staring occurs when we are appreciating  the beauty

Of a person

Of an outfit

Of architecture

Of art

Beauty seems to demand staring. Or maybe the thesaurus can give us less offensive words than “stare.”



As I was pondering this, I thought of Jesus.

He is beautiful

He is awesome

He is worthy

to be admired

to be appreciated

to be acknowledged

His character demands

my stare

my focus

my gaze

Oh, how I need to be reminded of this.

What a beautiful gift He is.

Today, I am thanking God for the beautiful gift of my Savior, Jesus. I am thanking Him for reminding me of this truth. And, I am asking Him to help me find joy in fixing my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2).

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)










trust the google

A few years ago, my honey and I were trying to get to our son’s speech tournament to see him in the state semi-finals.

during rush hour

on a Friday


As he maneuvered the traffic on construction laden DFW highways, I was navigating with the help of the Google map app. There were times that Google would tell us to take a route that seemed counter intuitive or weird. My honey, who is great at getting around the metroplex, didn’t always want to go the way the app would direct. He was not sure that Google was taking us the quickest route, and I kept saying the same line:

Trust the Google!

Over the years since our first Google map experience I have continued to recite these words to him as we traverse the country.

When the app takes us off a highway and through a neighborhood on our drive from KC to Colorado – trust the Google!

When we need to avoid California traffic – trust the Google!

When we drove through West Virginia and took some odd “detours” – trust the Google!

When we are learning how to get around our new city – trust the Google!

It seems so easy, but recently I failed to take my own advice.

I was running errands in KC and needed to get from a store north of downtown to our dry cleaner on the south side of downtown. I pulled up my Google map to see the suggested route. All was going well until I got close to my destination. I was confused as to why my Google map app was telling me to exit the highway earlier than I expected, so I decided to go my own way. I was sure I knew a better way.

I was wrong.

My Google map knew that there wouldn’t be exits where I was convinced there would be.

My Google map was trying to take me the quickest route, but I failed to

Trust the Google!

As I learned my mistake and laughed at myself, I couldn’t help but think of Proverbs 3:5-6:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

How many times have the directions of God seemed confusing, so I just chose to go my own way?

How many times have I been convinced I knew what I was doing when I did not?

It is interesting to me how I can confidently tell my honey to “trust the Google” yet found myself second guessing it.

In the same way, it is easy for me to tell my friends to trust the Lord yet turn around and have difficulty taking my own advice.

How silly of me!

Now, if you have used Google maps, you have probably experienced a time when it failed you and you thought – “I knew I couldn’t trust the Google.” Okay, maybe you didn’t say THAT, but you probably realized the fallibility of the app.

At times Google gets things wrong, but my God does not.

The Google map isn’t perfect, but my God IS!

The more I spend time in God’s word, the deeper I know Him and His character. And the more I know His character, the easier it is to trust Him (although not perfectly).

I am thankful that God’s trustworthiness isn’t based on my trusting Him. He is intrinsically trustworthy and doesn’t need my affirmation to be so.

I am thankful that He uses a situation like me taking the “long way” to the cleaners to teach me of my need to trust Him. What a kind Father He is!

How are you trusting in yourself or something other than God? Do you doubt He knows the best path for you?

Let’s ask God to work in our hearts, helping us to trust Him alone.

Let’s ask God to give us friends who speak of God’s trustworthiness to us.

Let’s thank God for His kindness in teaching us about His character.

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. – Psalm 9:10

You (God) keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. – Isaiah 26:3