Meet Jack

*Pictured—Arisaema triphyllum 
Commonly called Jack-in-the-Pulpit

His white robe swished as he mounted three stairs to take his spot behind the lectern. Eyes pinched, voice reverberating off the sanctuary’s tall ceilings, spittle landing on the good book, he boomed the shoulds and should nots. Fire and brimstone!

After he’d delivered commandments with a heaping side of consequences and punishments, the congregation fled, indigestion souring all thoughts of the roast chicken baking at home.

Enter: One brave and wise little girl who happens upon the preacher preparing Sunday’s sermon on a blue sky Saturday afternoon.

“Do you like being a minister?” the child asks.

He pauses, repeats the girl’s question, and his tone sharpens when he asks, “Now why would you ask a thing like that?!”

The girl’s father was a minister before she was orphaned. He was sad sometimes when he just couldn’t get through to his congregation. Then, he found a passage somewhere that read:

When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it you surely will. ~Abraham Lincoln

The quote was inscribed on a medallion the child wore around her neck. Lifting the chain, she shared the passage and explained that Lincoln’s sentiment changed her father’s perspective.

He started searching the bible for texts—glad passages and parables.

“There are 800 happy texts—did you know that?” she asks. “If God told us 800 times to be happy and rejoice, he must have wanted us to do it. I’ve got to be going now….”

And she left the minister to his preparations.

The following morning as men in suits and ladies in long dresses descended the church steps, they anticipated Sunday’s dinner.

Do we often find what we’re looking for?

Do our expectations influence what we perceive?

This post was inspired by a lifetime mentor. Click here for a three minute video.