Things are not always as they seem; the first appearance deceives many.
-Phaedrus (Roman poet)

It was a warm summer night. I was in the front yard greeting my boys as they arrived home from the neighbors house. I noticed a car drive by. Thought nothing of it. Had to clean my car out, so as I walked to my van, I noticed that same car drive by. “Hmm.. that’s strange,” I thought. And I proceeded to clean out my van, all the while noticing a white Lexus circling my block and even slowing down every now and then in front of my house!

Neither my husband was home nor my neighbor/brother in law. Now it had been at least 15 circles. I’m definitely feeling uneasy and protective. I was cleaning out my sons baseball items from the van, so I conveniently grabbed the baseball bat (merely for intimidation purposes, because a 5’2 brunette with a bat might cause ‘wanna-be’ criminals to move elsewhere!). This time when the car circled, I walked out to the end of my driveway, bat in hand, and gave my best evil eye as the white Lexus with dark tinted windows drove off.

By now, I’m considering who to call or tell. There were several neighbors in and out and I almost caught myself saying, “Hey, have you seen this car that’s been circling our neighborhood?” As to get the whole neighborhood involved in this mystery. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Not yet. I contemplated calling the police. I had tried to get the license plate number, but it was getting too dark.

I went into the house. Locked all the doors. Checked all the window locks. I went upstairs to close the blinds on my boys windows, just in case we were being watched. I veered through the blinds and this white Lexus continued to circle us! I sat on my upstairs patio thinking, “Surely he’ll know I’m on to him.”

Finally, the white Lexus really begins to slow in front of my house; tapping on the breaks ever so slowly. My heart is beating. My mind races. And then, it happens.

He pulls into the house across the street (and down one, not directly across!). And to my utter embarrassment, he was my neighbor! He was following his wife and two other ladies and their 3 small children as they were out walking. He was just making sure they were safe! Ha!

Well, I really hope he doesn’t remember my evil glares or intimidating stares with my baseball bat! And I’m SO glad I didn’t get the police involved! (That could’ve been awkward!)

Have you ever let your imagination run wild? When you really thought something was something that it really was not? But you were fixated on it and couldn’t get it out of your mind? What about when you felt like someone did or said something that really bothered you and you were so upset about it- but they had no idea and actually never meant what you thought! Or if you’ve texted or called someone and they didn’t return your call (or text), your mind starts playing tricks on you. “They must be upset with me,” you think. And you try to think of ways you might have offended them. Or you think, “I guess they really don’t want to talk to me” when in actuality, it just might be a really busy week for them and have nothing to do with you!

Before we get ourselves all worked up about something we ‘think’ to be true, it would be wise to get all of the facts before we are quick to judge someone (or in my case, before I call the cops!).

Lord, help us to not be quick to judge what we think is true, but instead gives us wisdom and discernment. And help us not to take matters into our own hands but to trust that you are working out everything for the good, for those who love You. Help us today to keep our eyes on You, not on our circumstances around us. And above all, let love and compassion guide and direct our steps.

                         in Jesus name, amen.

1 Peter 3:8- Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.