You Can’t Judge A Book…

Our friend Mel is on jury service this week. She has important judgements to make… seeing the accused, hearing the evidence, seeking to discern truth.

I remembered the old Bo Diddley song:

You can’t judge an apple by lookin’ at the tree
You can’t judge honey by lookin’ at the bee
You can’t judge a daughter by lookin’ at the mother
You can’t judge a book by lookin’ at the cover

I bought a book: ‘Knickers in the Fridge’. Can I judge that book by looking at its cover?

We enjoyed lunch with our friends Tim and Jill on Monday. On the next table… ‘Henry! Don’t do that!’ was the repeated cry. We couldn’t help earwigging their conversation. Three-year-old Henry was a source of constant frustration and embarrassment to his mother.

As four adults who had spent their professional lives dealing with children we came to conclusions regarding Henry and his mother – and were almost certainly entirely wrong. We looked at the cover and very quickly judged the book.

Last night I was reminded of an old story… Jesus had been killed and buried. A couple were walking 7 miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Jesus, who’s now alive, walks alongside them unrecognised.

Jesus explains the ancient scriptures to them. They haven’t understood that the Messiah was to suffer, die and return to life… they need to judge that book by more than just its cover.

They eventually arrive home at Emmaus. As they share a meal – ‘break bread’ – they realise that their travelling companion is actually Jesus. Superficial knowledge takes on greater substance. They judge the book by more than the cover.

When I see my next Henry I’ll try not to jump to quick conclusions. I shall continue to seek to meet and understand Jesus in more than just a superficial way.

‘Knickers in the Fridge’ is about a woman with dementia… My friends with dementia certainly aren’t books to be judged by their cover!  

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