Looking on the Heart

By Sheila Kindred

(Based on a true story)

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The Lord seeth not as a man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

“Where are your new glasses, Adam?” Mother asked as Adam pulled on his backpack.

“I … uh … forgot where I put them,” Adam muttered.

“Here they are,” his older sister called out. “I found them under the sofa cushion.”

“I wonder how they got there?” Mother said. “Please be more careful where you put them next time. You don’t want them to get lost or broken.”

Actually, Adam would have been happy if his glasses got lost or broken. He knew how they got under the sofa cushion. He put them there.

Adam didn’t like wearing his new glasses. They fell off when he played soccer and were always smudged with his fingerprints. Worst of all, Adam was sure everyone at school thought he looked ridiculous in his glasses, like some four-eyed monster.

But Adam’s glasses did make it easier for him to see the blackboard. So when Adam got to school that day, he could clearly read what his teacher had written on the board: Valentine’s Day Party Tomorrow!

Adam frowned. Usually he looked forward to the Valentine’s Day party. He liked eating the cookies and playing the fun games. But this year he had mixed feelings about exchanging valentines.

After school Adam sat at the kitchen table with valentines spread in front of him. He looked at the list of his classmates and sighed.

“Need help addressing the envelopes?” Adam’s mother asked.

Adam shook his head. “I don’t think I’ll give any valentines this year.”

His mother sat down next to him. “Why not?”

“The other kids think I look dumb in my glasses, Mom.”

“Did they say that?” Mother asked.

“No. But they look at me funny. And Danielle stares at me. I thought she was my friend. I’m not giving a valentine to her or anyone else. Why should I? I probably won’t be getting any.”

“Well, Adam,” Mother said softly, “even with brand-new glasses, you can’t see clearly into the hearts of others. I think you might be misjudging your friends. But it’s your choice.”

In the end, Adam decided to give out the valentines since they had already been made. He made sure to write his name on a few envelopes so he would get at least some valentines.

The Valentine’s Day party was so much fun that Adam completely forgot about his worries until it was time to go home. On his way out the door, Adam grabbed his valentines bag and stuffed it into his backpack before anyone else could see how empty it was.

At home Adam dumped the bag out on his bed, and his jaw dropped. There was a valentine from every student in class, and two from Danielle.

“That’s quite a haul,” his mother said from the bedroom doorway. “Did you give all those to yourself?”

Adam laughed. “Only four are from me,” he said. “I guess the other kids still like me after all. Danielle even wrote that she thinks I have cool glasses.”

Adam was more careful with his glasses after that. He took good care of them and even got a special elastic band to hold them on when he played soccer. He was sure to wear his glasses every day because they not only helped him see better, they also helped him remember to look into the hearts of his friends.

I guess you can never really tell what other people are thinking, huh?

I’m thinking we should make some valentines. Let’s go!

Illustrations by Brad Teare