I hate to admit it but I tend to label people according to their outside appearance.
(Come on, you do it too, right? 😉
Maybe I label because, growing up, we enjoyed pinning people according to the way they dressed. It was never meant in a judgmental way — simply a guessing-game. A way to deduce who you are and what you love.
For example, if you are a skinny teenage boy wearing ankle-scrunched, navy blue cloth sweatpants and carry around copies of Homer or Piper I might peg you a homeschooler. If you are a mom of four, smell like an essential oil collection, wear bohemian skirts and have a random collection of hats I may box you in as a hippie/granola/crunchy braless, gluten-free mommy. Finally, if I happen to pass a twenty-something woman wearing a knee-length jean skirt, natural shaded eye shadow and bumped bangs with some sort of elegant bun I’ll probably bet you’re an Apostolic/Bill Gothard/Pentecostal member out shopping with the girls.
See? I’m really bad.
So imagine how confused I was when the cool, hip-looking worship leader took his place on stage … wearing crocs.
My label-conscious eyes couldn’t believe themselves. How could someone so collected, suave and Hillsongish be wearing crocs? Birkenstocks? yes. Toms? maybe. Crocs? never.
(Not that I’m against Crocs; in fact, I have my own comfy pair. I’ve just got a very ridiculous case of the labels … )
I think Samuel had the same problem when he was sent to handpick the future king of Israel. Here he was, gazing down a line of tall, able-bodied men, and yet the LORD told him to keep looking.
” … the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
My beloved man often gets onto me for labeling people according to their appearances. Instead of putting them in a box and then being surprised that they don’t fit my prescribed mold he encourages me to let people be themselves.
Which makes perfect sense since I don’t want anyone pegging me into a category. I use essential oils, carry copies of Piper around, wear Crocs and occasionally a knee-length jean skirt. Yet, I am not a braless hippie Pentecostal boy. I’m just me. Frannie. The girl who labels people far too often and then is astonished when they break out of their molds.
So here’s to giving up the label game; here’s to not dying of shock during worship over crocs; and here’s to learning to see how God sees.
With so much love, coffee and my own pair of squeaky, blue crocs,
p.s. I just know someone from church is going to read this. So as a disclaimer I must add:
I am not against crocs / I am not against worship leaders wearing crocs / I know I ‘m silly / Please don’t make fun of me next time we meet / The end.