You Never Can Tell

No sir, you really can’t tell!  Take a look at this young man; go ahead, look closely.  I wonder how old he is here, and what sort of a young man he was, I wonder what ever became of him…

When we look at people, we are often tempted to rush to all sorts of conclusions about them.  We might say that the person looks like a bad sort and steer clear, or we might think they look like a trustworthy person and let our guard down.  We might even look at them and decide that they are not the sort of person that we want to tell about Jesus Christ.

Wouldn’t that be sad…

I’ve seen people who looked at first like they would never listen to the Gospel who completely turn their lives around and even ended up in the ministry… I wonder how many people wouldn’t talk to them.

I happen to know who the kid in the picture is.  He was a senior in college when this picture was taken.  18 months later he went to Washington with Abraham Lincoln.  He was Mr. Lincoln’s Assistant Secretary and lived in the White House during the Lincoln presidency.  Later, he and the other secretary wrote the authoritative 10 volume history of the Lincoln Administration which is the source of so much that we know about those times.  He was an aspiring poet who published several volumes, he entered the foreign service and later became the Secretary of State in the McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt Administrations.  He is famous for coining the term “Splendid little war” in reference to the Spanish-American War, and for the “Open Door Policy” of the US toward China, and he was the principal negotiator of the peace treaty in the Russo-Japanese War for which Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Oh, one more thing: He married well.  His wife was an heiress through who he inherited the controlling interest in a little company called Western Union.  His name is John Hay.  In the picture below he is seated at President McKinley’s desk signing the Treaty that ended the Spanish-American War, while the President (Right behind Mr. Hay’s head) looks on.

No sir, you really can’t tell about a person just by looking at him or her, you need to make a little investment in getting to know them!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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