Wednesday, August 31, 2011


First impressions.

I'm usually pretty good at them.

Like the first time I met my high school bus driver. I knew she was going to be mean. Her name was Mrs. Ferrari – and let me tell you, it was an oxymoron if there ever was one! It would have been like calling Shaquille O'Neal "Mr. VW Beetle." She was built like a tank, and had a drill sergeant personality.

I was scared to death of her.

Rightfully so. She demanded total law and order on her bus. Sure, it was noisy – what bus isn't?! But, the rules were obeyed, and no one got away with anything.

As the year went on, I began to learn that Mrs. Ferrari wasn't quite as mean as she seemed. Yes, she was strict – but she cared for her students. She'd taken the time to get to know some of our names, and she even smiled once in awhile (I think it was every other Friday…)

She played the radio for us.

I still thought she was stern – but I began to see something else in her, too. She actually was a very nice personpatient and tolerant.

Like the one time that a group of boys, who liked to banter with her, executed a good-natured squirt gun attack on the last week of school.

I expected Mrs. Ferrari to go ballistic.

She didn't. She laughed, and took it in the joking manner in which it was intended. I was pretty surprised actually. But my surprise was about to be taken to the next level.

On the last day of school, all of a sudden the bus stopped in front of a house several blocks away from our regular bus stop. What??

Just then, two guys came running out from behind the house, dragging a garden hose along with them. The doors of the bus flew open, they handed the nozzle of the hose to Mrs. Ferrari, and she yelled out at the top of her lungs…


Well, the entire bus got a soaking that I will never forget! We were scrambling and laughing it was a pool party gone mad! And no one laughed harder than Mrs. Ferrari – who also ended up completely sopping wet.

Mrs. Ferrari had become our friend – and we all hugged her good-bye for the summer.

I was wrong on this first impression – and it's always served as a reminder to me that often a "book can't be judged by its cover."

Even Jesus.

Especially Jesus.

I always thought He was a mild-mannered, meek, slightly "Renaissance-y feminine" sort of person. Many of the depictions I saw of Him only served to reinforce this image. I loved Him – oh yes I did – but I definitely had Him filed under *passive.*

Until I read through the Gospels.

Jesus was no wimp. He was all the things that a hero should be.

Intelligent, clever, forthright, opinionated, strong, independent – perfectly balanced with humility, kindness, goodness, and devotion to His Father.

I've been a Christian my whole lifebut I didn't get to know Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, the unexpected Jesus – until I was an adult.

And every day that I follow Him, I get to know Him even better.

He's my hero.

So, are there any people in your life who deserve a second look?

What about Jesus?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Oh, Sharon - can you image that bus driver getting away with the hose soaking today? She'd be fired in a trice! Miss the old day, ya know?

    Yes - I'm dealing with quenching - or questioning my first impressions of some of the new staff at school I'm working with this year. Very rocky errain I'm on - and finding this mission field to be a challenge as I step into it. Land mines of political correctness and pandering seem to be the special of the day. Could use prayer if you think of it. I don't want my first impressions to lessen my ability to see through God's eyes with compassion and mercy.
    That word the Lord gave me earlier this year that He's been teaching me to walk in as never before" gracious - yes - well - it's gonna get a workout this school year. Bank on it!

  2. You are a fantastic storyteller! This story brings back so many memories. Mrs. Ferrari sounds like a gem!

    Jesus is my hero too!

  3. The teachers my kids had in the beginning of the year that they hated they ended up loving and vice versa. You can never judge a book by it's cover.

  4. Blessings Sharon...and what a first impression!!!

    You my dear, are such a delight to read the antics because of how well you describe them, we actually get into the fun or mischief.

    I'm not sure about me and first impressions. I have not paid attention to if I'm judging a person by my first look... maybe I have. I'm probably trying so hard not to be judged that I don't even bother or perhaps (gulp) I'm guilty of not going past the first look (if they are odd or off). I sure hope not. I'll have to mind my "p's and q's" and watch if I do or don't. I would not want to come off as judging as if I am above or below anyone.

    I can't imagine Jesus as anything else but the hero image I have of Him. Yes, I agree with your first impression except passive... and also that He's no wimp. I see strength and compassion in Jesus. I think we are taught the tender, loving side of Jesus, so we come to Him... except I held the "tough guy" discipline for Our Father. More of an awe and respect but also a fear of the fiery in His discipline.

    If my eyes were not blinded by seeing the good in others or by love, I may not have married my husband, and I might have seen his charming way and humor, friendliness, etc. as out of place or as my parents saw him. But this was a favorable first impression when perhaps it should have been more cautious and not so open. I cannot think of anyone that needs a second look any more...maybe it's a senior moment but I don't remember any.

    I love the way you tell such vivid tales in words and memories of your past. I'd love to see Ms. Ferrari's reaction to this one. Impressionable!

    Love and hugs,

  5. I loved this. It wasn't just the great story about Mrs. Ferari, either, although I did relish the thought of you getting a soaking.

    Can you imagine them doing that today? Not a chance.

    As to my first impressions of Jesus, I'm with you completely too. I used to have that same impression of Him, and I remember the way he "grew in stature" to me just the way it's described in the gospels.

    He is my hero too. A mighty man. A mighty God.

  6. Great story and a perfect example of not judging a book by its cover!

  7. Oh I love your bus driver...and from a mother of boys, she must have understood how boys show their love for another person....soaking them with the water hose.

    I too have known the Lord all my life, well since age 5, and yes, it has been and still is in my adult life that I am truly understanding the character of my Lord...maybe that is why His word is living, it just never fails to continue to grow in us.

  8. This post made me laugh out loud! There are so many people I can think of that deserve that second look, but none other than my prodigal husband. While the world has told me to throw him away, I know God will redeem him in His time, and what a story will be told when that happens!!
    Have a great weekend!

  9. I had to laugh reading your comments. For one thing, NO - I can't imagine Mrs. Ferrari getting away with this nowadays. She would have been fired for assaulting her students. Or for soaking a few people who didn't believe in water baptism and thought she was bringing religion into the workplace. Or for neglecting to get EVERYONE wet - showing discriminatory treatment against the non-soakees.

    Truth of the matter is this - we should be careful of our first impressions - allowing the Lord to dictate our thoughts and to be open to the possibility that what we see as a piece of carbon may be one of His *diamonds in the rough*.

    And yes, Jesus - grows in stature every day (I loved that, Debbie.)



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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