I came a crossed an interesting old house on the way home from a family trip last summer. At first glance the house looked foreboding. It was dilapidated and had a NO TRESSPASSING sign. It made me feel uneasy. Yet, it had some charming aspects to it, so of course we stopped for a closer look. As I took a few quick pictures I noticed the beautiful detailed finish work above and below the bay window and on the on the porch posts. In my mind I pictured this house with a fresh coat of paint and I imagined the roof was nicely repaired and looking like new again. I remember thinking ‘ I am sure this house was so lovely when it was first built’.
It has been almost a year since that trip and I have pondered about the significance of that house and one thought keeps rolling around in my in my mind. We are all like that house, we are ‘More than meets the eye.’
Each of us experience trials and have shortcomings that chip away at us, that cause us to feel less than, that perhaps make us feel tired, emotionally drained, and old from the inside out. We all want to be understood and be seen clearly and this can be a difficult task to accomplish for ourselves and others. I have found that seeing ourselves and others clearly, the way God does, is possible through the Holy Ghost. Now let’s be very clear I do not claim I am an expert on this matter I have just prayed, asked and received help and some perspective on this subject. I sometimes struggle with this very thing with my own children. I pray daily that the Lord that will help me love and see my children the way he does. The desire to understand and see those around me more clearly started when I was younger. At the same time, I also hoped others would do the same for me.
I have a favorite quote that always lifts me and encourages me see myself and others the way God does. It is this: “Whether you are 8 or 108, there is one thing that I hope you truly understand and know: You are loved. You are dear to your heavenly parents. The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you. Yes, God loves you this very day and always. He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you. And God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens—even when you are struggling with your own. He knows everything about you. HE SEES YOU CLEARLY—He knows you as you really are. And He loves you—today and always!” (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Living the Gospel Joyful)
Each of us are layered with beautiful complexities. With a smile, sincere interest, and a quick prayer we can always learn something new and notice wonderful details about someone, and also take a compassionate look at ourselves. Take the time to discern more than what you see and feel at the first glance. Choose to be more kind and pray for understanding of yourself and others, so you can see ‘more than meets the eye’!