Most people look at the Texas Thistle and see nothing more than a weed. A particularly obnoxious weed, that once it starts growing is difficult to remove. You can't pull it out by hand; the leafy branches have little prickly, pokey things that hurt your hands. The roots are thick and you get this gooey whitish junk everywhere once you start tearing into them. Most people wear gloves and pull them the minute they make an appearance in their landscape.
But in our house, the Texas Thistle is a magical, mystical plant that brings us much joy every time we see them on the trails. We've even given them a special name, the Purple Puffalump! Every time we see a Purple Puffalump, we are reminded of the fantastic plants in the Dr. Seuss books we read over and over again to our kids.
And upon closer examination, the Purple Puffalump is actually quite beautiful. The leaves are a beautiful, misty green with a special type of shine. And the bud which appears before the Puffalump part emerges is just gorgeous, delicate green and purple. Once the purple, puffy part appears, bees and butterflies flock to it's poofy ball and just hang out; making them even more magical.
You miss all this beauty and magic when you assume it's just a weed and pull it out.
It's so easy to make assumptions about people or situations, without looking more carefully into the person and their heart. Accusations get made and opinions are formed, all without talking it out or asking questions. I've been on the receiving end of some of these false assumptions lately, and it hasn't felt good. Some people think they know things about me or my family and never even ask a single question. Kind of like looking at that thistle and thinking it's weed without waiting for the mystical purple puffalump to appear.
I'm so thankful God looks past the weeds, and He sees the beauty within each of us. He knows our every thought, and we never have to worry about Him making assumptions. And even on those days when we fall short, His love doesn't waiver. He sees each of us just like a field of beautiful purple, puffy balls.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."