I’m sitting on an airplane as I write this. I love to travel and to fly…it’s so cool how easily we can get around in today’s world. This morning I’m in Boston, and this afternoon in Dallas.

It’s not just within the states either, I love to travel around the world. Again, how amazing it is that I can fly to Haiti in half a day, or Nepal in a couple of days! The ability to get all over the world and experience different cultures is just so cool to me. And I am so thankful that I have had so many opportunities to do it in my lifetime.

This morning while enjoying the ability to travel easily, I was struck with the thought that the diversity of life is amazing!

While standing at the gate waiting to board, I was fascinated with watching all the people around me…specifically how people were dressed. There were so many different styles represented. I remember seeing a guy who reminded me of an 80’s teenage movie…I kinda made me want to start quoting Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

I saw all kind of different and unique looks…some I liked and some not so much. But the diversity was interesting to see.

As I was boarding my flight, I noticed just how many different types of people were on this plane. People of different races, ethnic backgrounds, cultures, colors, genders, ages, and builds. It was such a cool display of the diversity of life.

Then, as I was looking around me at all the different people, noticing all the differences in people’s appearance, I began to wonder what their different stories were. Everyone has a story of some kind…it’s part of being human.

I have a story. You have a story. And each person I saw in the airport and on the plane has a story.

I wonder, though, how often we notice the appearance of someone, or a way they are acting at a particular moment, but never take time to think about what their story may be…or take time to get to know their story.

We never want people to judge us solely based on our appearance or what we present at a given moment, we want people to get to know who we are and what makes us tick. Do we afford the same thing to others? Or do we stop at what we see?

Yea, there are people who are just superficial, who are jerks, who are unfriendly and selfish, etc…and what they present via appearance or actions is a true indication of them. But not always.

What if the person you see at work that seems to be an unfriendly jerk or is always late really is just exhausted from life’s hardships and is at their wits end…so making it to work at all takes all their strength, much less trying to interact with other people.

Or what if the person you see in the store that looks like they have no idea what’s going on and their appearance looks thrown together at best hasn’t slept much lately, or is in the midst of financial hardships and that’s the best they have at the moment.

We need to be very slow to make judgments of others (John 7:24, Matthew 7:1-2)…and we need to learn to look past just the exterior and see the person inside.

When God told us to love others (Matthew 22:39, John 13:34-35), he wasn’t telling us to love their appearance or what they present, rather he was telling us to love them as a person…who they are. God cares about our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7), who we are on the inside…and we should care about each other the same way as well.

The diversity of life is amazing. So many different people, with so many different stories. Let’s make sure to see and appreciate all the diversity, and care enough to get to the know people for who they are and what their story is.