Hello. My name is Jan Grace. I’m a guy, and have been one all my life.
You may think it’s an odd name for a man, but I’ve gotten used to it over the years.
People have asked me, more times than I can remember, if the name is short for something. I say, “Yes; Janice.”
Ask a silly question…
You might be surprised by some of the mail I’ve received through the years. As a teenager I’d get mail addressed to Miss Jan Grace.
When I received my GED certificate back in 1974 it read, “This certificate shows that Jan Grace has scored satisfactorily on her tests…”, or words along those lines.
Notice the “her”.
I had them correct it.
Just a few days ago I received four emails in my junk folder: one selling women’s boots, another one advertising Plus Size Women’s Clothing (I can understand the plus size, but really!), another trying to get me to buy a Genie Zip Bra, and the last one said, “Jan, You’ve been selected as a female business leader”.
As I read the emails, I couldn’t help but think, “They don’t know who they’re talking to.”
And I sensed the Lord say to me, “and sometimes, neither do you.”
Of course, He’s right.
On a number of occasions I’ve looked at someone and immediately known all about them; only to learn how wrong I was after spending time with them.
Remember that old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”? Yes, it applies here.
Our cover, whether it’s our name, appearance, or associates, can reveal much about us. But it isn’t foolproof.
It’s not always accurate.
Yes, it’s faster and takes a lot less effort, to learn everything about another person from their cover. But there’s so much more to the story.
People who only know my name, and nothing more, know nothing about ME.
There’s much more to ME than my name.
And there’s much more to others than their name, looks, church affiliation, or even political views.
Jesus said, “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8 ESV)
How could He know such things? Of course, He is God! But also, He knows our story, He’s listened to us, watched us.
Why? Because He cares for us!
Would you like to help people? Would you like to show people you really care for them with the love of God?
Then get past their cover. Even if the pages are dirty and they make you feel uncomfortable, take the time to learn their story.
Because just knowing their name really tells you nothing.