God Don’t Care What You Look Like:
“God don’t care what you look like, He cares about your heart.” That came from an 80-something granny to a kid with gages in his ears and chains on his pants. Her follow-up statement to him? “Anybody say something to you, you send them to me and I’ll tell them.”
Hilda (the one in the black and white top in the photo) is like my real life Golden Girl. A wise-cracking woman with a heart of gold who I met unexpectedly at a pizza fundraiser. Two lessons were reinforced to me at that event – one, don’t worry about snags in my scheduled plan because God makes good things come out of those too (like my unexpected Office Depot trip), and two, never EVER judge a person by what they look or dress like (I feel like God just tried to show me this with Prayer in the Parking Lot!).
The local senior citizens center was holding a fundraiser for a new floor by making woodfire pizzas on demand. Supposedly, these pizzas took a maximum of 15 minutes. I was in the middle of working at my house, and planned to run over to the center, grab a pizza and get back, basically just to show my support.
As soon as I walked in the building, I was greeted by one of the library patrons from where I work. I went over to say hello and she introduced me to Hilda and Hilda’s husband Chris. The couple fit the stereotype of an aging center. Hilda seemed older and frail and had a speech impediment, and Chris was in a wheelchair and on oxygen.
But their faith was on fire! Especially Hilda. While I waited for a 15-minute pizza that turned into almost a 60-minute pizza, I shortly went from irritated at the time factor to completely drawn in by the couple and their stories.
Hilda told me that God had put a special calling on her heart for youth. Teenagers would show up on their doorstep at all hours of the night, and if God said to take them in, she and Chris would. Some stayed for a week, some stayed for a month, some would just visit when they needed a friend or to experience genuine love.
And when I say all hours of the night, I’m not kidding. The one mentioned in the introduction with gages and chains rang their doorbell the first time at 4 a.m. After several visits, he asked them if he could go to church with them…but he was nervous of what their congregation would think about his appearance. That’s when Hilda told him with her attitude, “God don’t care what you look like, He cares about your heart. Anybody say something to you, you send them to me and I’ll tell them.”
When another teenager told her “God don’t love me anymore,” she replied, “God don’t turn His back on people – you only feel that way if you’ve turned your back on God.”
Now, we don’t live in a city. We live in a small town, surrounded by other small towns. So where did these teenagers come from? Hilda and Chris didn’t even give their lives to Christ until they were almost 60 years old (who says God has an age limit on when He can work with you?!). That means their own children were long grown.
I asked Hilda, where did these youth come from? She said, “I don’t know, we just opened our doors and God sent them our way.”
Wow – what people is God ready to send your way? What people are waiting outside my door? Let’s fling open our hearts and let ‘em in!