We would see them occasionally, usually for the Sunday morning service, this ordinary seeming family of six.  They would file into the pew looking rushed but happy.  We rarely saw them for a midweek service and almost never on a Sunday night.  Still a babe in my faith and yet I thought I knew them, judged that they must not be as dedicated as others, “occasional” Christians perhaps.  To think that I, whose behind warmed a pew or seat most times the doors were open, would deem myself their judge and jury is a sad commentary on where my heart really was.  Naive?  Somewhat.  “Religious”?  Most definitely.  Grace-filled?  Not so much.


Over weeks and months I got somewhat familiar with this husband, wife and their brood of four but what little I knew about them, my perception of who they were was about to get tossed upside down and my heart forever changed.  Through a series of events and an opportunity to use some writing skills, I sat my church attending behind down on their farmhouse sofa to interview this family and was instantly made as welcome as I have ever felt.  The husband all smiles, the wife offering tea, the children all gathering as if I were someone of importance.


Small talk enabled me to get my bearings and before long I was asking less questions and just listening.  Amazing what happens when you take time to get to know people, to listen, to find common ground, to discover… their hearts were in a far better place than mine.


This beautiful farming family talked of love for each other, love for their farmhands, love for God.  They shared of the satisfaction that comes from hard work, of their volunteering of time and talents both inside and outside the church.  And while my tea grew cold, my heart warmed. 


They may have slipped in late for a Sunday service after they had worked harder that morning than most would all week.  She may have went unnoticed during a midweek service due to the fact she was upstairs teaching a children’s class.  They may have missed Sunday nights because  Monday morning, for them, would begin in hours.


I am so grateful that this family loved me that day so many years ago, showed me hospitality, showered me with grace.  They let me in, turned my skewed perception upside-down.  The experience was greatly humbling, a necessary lesson that changed me, changed my heart, in a forever kind of way.  And the grace I was given by them, by God, I can now give freely.
My perception: things are not always as they seem ~ sometimes they are way better.




  1. Oh, Mindy, you have me misty-eyed! This is so honest it hurts because I judge all the time, yet such a testament to our God who graciously shows us His love through others!

    I better go drink some ice tea to get rid of this lump in my throat! ;)

  2. I am teary eyed too, Mindy. You really struck at the heart of things. Not able to say much more except you have given me SO much to think about. Thank you.

  3. I love your honesty Mindy. I know I have been guilty of the same and that is so hard to admit. Your words are a beautiful reminder to see others through the eyes of Jesus. Thank you for stopping by my place and leading me here.

  4. Thank you, Mindy, for this sweet and eye-opening post! It is so easy to point the finger when we don't even know what is truly going on. Thank you, friend, for the reminder that things aren't always as they seem.

    Hugs to you!

  5. I'm back, lol. You inspired me to write a post today, Mindy. Thank you!

  6. What a great story of the Lord's grace!
    Inspiring us all toward self-examination -thanks!


  7. "things are not always as they seem ~ sometimes they are way better."

    A great lesson for all of us. I love this story. I've failed to give grace so often in the past when I made snap judgments of who people are. Lord, have mercy. And thankfully he often gives us second chances to get it right. Glad you were able to be blessed by getting to know this family.

  8. Oh, Mindy, what a great it when things are better than they seem...and a great reminder to not judge because we really don't know what another person's story to rely on grace...Thank you for your honesty :)

  9. Mindy-this is so beautiful and so true and so convicting to me. I am a snap-judger too, although God and I are working on that! He has been teaching me that we are ALL the same-in need of Him in great big doses. Hugs!

  10. Hi Mindy! Isn't God so good to give you a chance to get to know this family better!

    I really do judge quite a bit myself, I always have to give myself a little tap to remember that I wouldn't like that myself. Thank you for telling 'on yourself' in this post. What honestly...and we all share the same experiences, I have no doubt!


  11. So true. I often think about how everybody has a story, and if we knew their back story we would probably extend grace more readily and more often. Thanks for the reminder.

  12. Hi Mindy,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's amazing how kindred spirits find themselves in this great big www. God bless!