I was working a funeral today in Oswego, SC. A beautiful, old church is where it took place. Before the service got started, I was handing out bulletins to people in the parking lot. As I approached one elderly gentleman and handed one to him, he looked at me and said, "No need to hand me one of these. I can't read." By the grin on his face, I could tell he was just kidding. I replied, "That's ok, just take one anyway and enjoy the picture on front. It's beautiful." He quickly looked at me and said, "I know it is. I'm the one who painted it!" It turned out, he was telling me the truth that time. As a talented artist, he painted a picture of the church, and the church posted it on the front of the bulletin.
I was stunned. That was news to me. Nobody had told me he was an artist. And I was sure glad I had spoken positively about the picture!
It was just another reminder for me of this truth: When it comes to dealing with people, we often don't realize who we're dealing with. Usually there is way more to people than what meets the eye. Beneath the surface of what we see, there are layers of uniqueness.
What should we do about it?
 Take the time to get to know people. Ask questions, listen, and build a connection with folks you meet. When you and I slow up and do this, we may be amazed at what we discover in people we meet. The external appearance of people does not tell us everything about who they are and what they're about.
 Remind yourself at how awesome God is for knowing people inside and out. God sees, hears, and knows things that we don't. He is fully aware of everything about everyone. It takes time for us to get acquainted and learn about people. God, on the other hand, already knows them thoroughly. That means He's awesome. And that means He's way more qualified than us for sizing people up and passing judgement on them.
I'm glad I met the artist. He's one neat guy. And I'm really glad that when it comes to all of us, there's usually way more than what people see on the surface.