Recently a friend told me the following story.
A couple of years ago, my wife and I purchased a new truck. I took my father-in-law out for a test drive to show it off, and I could tell the horsepower and all the extras impressed him.
As we turned a corner, however, a truck pulled out in front of us. We have all seen a truck like this truck before. White, rusty in some spots, rusted out holes in others, bed full of ladders, tools, paint buckets, ropes, and various other work materials. It sputtered as it pulled out, and I had to slightly brake, so as not to rear end it.
I kept thinking to myself about how this guy and his truck were ruining my afternoon drive. “How am I going to show off my truck when I’m stuck behind this loser?” The words out of my mouth were: “He needs to get that thing fixed.”
My father-in-law, who had said maybe ten words the whole drive, kept looking straight ahead and said calmly, “He’s probably doing the best he can.” He was very matter-of-fact when he said that, his voice reflected no pity–just empathy and understanding. The simplicity and truth in his words gave me just the valuable reminder I needed that day.
Often it takes the words of the humble person to restore our direction and see what are the important values of life: love, friends, forgiveness, humility, compassion.
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24