By Judy Brandon: Religion columnist
Are things always as they seem? My sister received an e-mail from a couple in her church on Friday, October 15th, that answers this question with a “No”:
“We are writing this with tears in our eyes. We brought our family over here to London for a short vacation. Unfortunately, we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed. All our cash and credit cards were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.
We’ve been to the embassy and the police here but they’re not helping issues at all and our flight leaves in few hours from now. We’re having problems settling the hotel bills, and the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the bills. Well we really need your financial assistance. Please, let me know if you can help us out.
We are so scared at the moment!!”
Jenna and Jeffrey
Susie read the e-mail and then began to think how this couple was going to get out of that terrible predicament. Then a few hours later she received another e-mail:
Someone hacked into our e-mail account and claimed to be us. Their phony email reported that we had been robbed in London and were unable to come home to the USA. The culprits were asking for money. We want to tell you that we are in our home, we never went to London, my husband is at work, and our children are in school. Whoever did this is up to no good.”
Blessing, Jenna and Jeffrey
On the outside looking in, we may think the situation one way when in reality it is quite another way.
A businessman may be respected in the town, but then no one knows the hefty price he pays for less than reputable deals. A young teen may look as though she has not a care in the world; yet insecurities cause her to nearly starve herself for a certain dress or pant size. The high school athlete may be the fastest runner or the best receiver, yet no one knows that when he goes home, he faces an abusive, alcoholic father.
On the other hand, the little woman who lives in a simple dwelling and is on a fixed income may be the one that intercedes in prayer constantly for all those who are sick and in need. The young boy who is just a face in the crowd at school may be the one with the part time after school job just to help his widowed father make ends meet. The man who works 8 to 5 every day with a low profile job may be the one who volunteers at the local homeless shelter to feed the hungry and spread the Gospel.
We think we see the entire picture by the actions we see in people every day but in reality, we do not at all. God is the judge and only He can judge with an eternal perspective: “…for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.” (1 Samuel 2:2-4)
No matter how much we might think we can fool God or bargain with Him, it will not work. As the Bible says, God knows of our deeds and only He holds the proper weights and measures to assess those. The real truth will come out on all of us sooner or later.
By the way, the young couple was worried that their friends might have tried to wire them money. The two were afraid that the culprits were richer because of the hacked e-mail. But the truth came out. What the culprits used to try and fool people was the very thing in the end that shut them down.