(A Paraphrase of the story found in “Pulling Weeds, Planting Seeds” by Dennis Rainey. Review to come out on the blog next week!)
A man named Bill Howard was boarding a packed flight, already frustrated at finding a seat. As he looked up, he noticed a disfigured man trying to find a seat, all the while noticing others were uncomfortably staring at him.
The two men ended up sitting next to each other. As they sat down, Bill notices the mutilated hands, missing ears, skin only partially covering the nostrils of his nose.
Mustering up his courage, Bill began to talk with the man and asked him if it was OK if he could hear the story behind his burns. The man, named Johnny, said he would rather talk to someone than be stared at.
He shared he was at a rest stop gas station when a car pulled out in front of a gas tanker truck. The truck jack-knifed, rolled, burst into flames and covered nearly 70 people with burning fuel, including Johnny & his father…who were both engulfed into flames.
The story doesn’t stop there – Johnny saw an old man stuck under a steel rod. So, while on fire, Johnny lifted the rod off the old man’s chest to save his life…and burnt his fingers off.
Story ends w/ Johnny accepting Christ on the plane. It was a divine appointment for Bill & his new friend. People are not always as they appear. Underneath the scars and burns – Johnny was a kind hero.
Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with someone. Be bold in your witness. Don’t judge someone on their appearance. Look at others as God sees them…by their heart.