John Ed Mathison headshot

Oftentimes in life, we are confronted with situations that are hard to understand. Through human glasses, we see a sad situation. Through God’s glasses, we can see a simple solution.

    It was June 6, 2021, in Centerpoint, AL. Tim Harrison didn’t have enough money to get a cap and gown, so he could not attend his high school graduation from Woodlawn High School. He also did not have a ride to get to the ceremony across town. It’s natural to see that as a very sad situation.

    But Tim didn’t sit down and have a pity party for himself. He worked at Waffle House, so at 7 a.m., he went in for his shift. When he walked into Waffle House, his boss, Cedric Hampton, wondered why he was reporting to work because he knew it was graduation day. Timothy explained why he came to work. Seeing a sad situation sometimes leads to being satisfied with allowing the situation to remain like it is.

    But Cedric Hampton was not going to let that happen. Neither was his co-worker, Shantana Blevins. They began to look at things through God’s glasses, and they saw that there was a simple solution. Timothy needed their help, and they could do it.

    Tim had only been working at the Waffle House for a month, but he had already become greatly appreciated. The staff at the Waffle House and some customers  took up some money to buy him a suit, shirt, and tie. He said that it was the first new suit that he had ever owned. Shantana offered to drive him the 20 miles across town for graduation. They got there just in time.

    When we see a tough situation, oftentimes we are just content to see if we can overlook it. We make some excuse about not having time, or resources, or we don’t want to get involved.

    Jesus told a story (Luke 10:30-37) about a man who was robbed and beaten and left on the side of the road. That’s a sad situation. Two very religious officials were walking along the road and saw the sad situation. They probably felt badly about it, but they found some excuse to keep on walking and leave the man there. The religious folks were looking at the man through human glasses of being in a sad situation.

    Then a Samaritan man comes along and sees not a sad situation, but a simple solution. The man needed help. He goes to the man, picks him up, puts him on his donkey, and carries him to the hospital. He said that he would come back later to pay the bill. Now that’s offering a solution.

    Guess what? When people heard Tim’s story, the leadership at Lawson State Community College offered Tim a full scholarship, including books, to attend college there! Tim accepted it! Tim never dreamed that he could afford to go to college.

    Acting on what we see through God’s glasses can lead to great results. That Waffle House served up a real “All-Star Special” that day! His co-worker who drove him to the graduation said, “You never know who you can touch or who you can influence with one simple gesture.” Sad situations are transformed by people who are willing to offer a simple solution, and simple solutions can bring about huge consequences.

    What do you see – a sad situation or a simple solution?