Boarded Windows

Posted by on Jun 1, 2013 in Articles | 0 comments

I walked passed the house two or three afternoons per week on my way home from after-school activities.  I guess it would be more accurate to say that I ran passed it.  It was a shack of a house with boarded up windows, an old man and two young men nearly always sitting on the porch with the front door wide open.  Chickens were constantly running into and out of the house, pecking at whatever they could get their beaks on.  The red Cadillac that was frequently parked outside stood out like a ripe apple in a basket full of rotten fruit.


I remembered my father commenting on the old shack the first time we drove past it.  “If that isn’t a drug dealer’s house, I don’t know what is.  You be careful walking by that place.  Why would they have the windows boarded up if they weren’t trying to hide something?  And that Cadillac is most definitely out of place there!”


So, I ran every time I got close to the place.  I tried to look like I was just jogging for exercise on my way home.  But, I could always feel the eyes of the inhabitants on me as I sprinted by.  I had a strange feeling that they knew I wasn’t jogging and was instead running in fear.


One sunny afternoon my jog passed the house was stopped rather suddenly by a hardware store truck that had backed into the driveway.  Windows were being unloaded onto the yard.  Boxes of various sizes had already been stacked up on one side of the house.  The old man was sitting in his usual spot on the porch and the two other men were helping to unload the truck.  The red Cadillac was parked in front of the house and a well-dressed man was climbing into the driver’s seat.  I had never seen him before.


Within a week, the little shack was transformed into a little house full of light and windows.  Curtains hung on the window frames, and the weathered clap-board had been replaced and painted a cheerful yellow.  The chickens still ran freely in and out of the house, but it didn’t seem to be quite as frightening.


My family found out later that the family who lived in that house had been through a recent tragedy and didn’t have much.  The two young men were brothers who had been trying to care for their grandfather, their only remaining relative and refused to put him into a home.  They had purchased the little shack for back taxes and the owner of the red Cadillac was a mystery.  He had been visiting the broken family and was the one responsible for the work on the house.  It didn’t take long for them to get set up and found their place in our little town.


How often do we look at a person and form an opinion without knowing anything about them?  We look at the outside and don’t take time to find out what is inside.  How many friendships have we never known because we didn’t take time to see the real person?  How many opportunities for kindness have we ignored because we chose not to find out why that person is in the condition they are in?  How many feelings have we hurt?  How many false impressions of Christ have we left because we professed our Christianity and failed to demonstrate it?


“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment,” John 7:24.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *