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While walking back to school from the playground, I was in the middle of two pre-kindergarten girls who were comparing their mittens and hats.
“I got purple mittens,” said the one on the right of me.’
“Oh, I have purple ones, too. And my hat is purple.” Said the one on the left.
As I held onto each one’s mittened hand, I glanced at my own mittens. Hmmm. In a world of pink and purple girls, I had plain gray mittens on. Then I remembered.
“Guess what?” I told the small gals. “My mittens are gray on the outside, but they are purple on the inside.” That was a fact. I had made soft angora wool mitten liners out of a intensely lavender purple old sweater.

Even as I caught those words…”purple on the inside”, as they came from my lips, I had a sense that this was the title of my next blog. But in relation to what? There would be something though. I was sure of that.

The fact that the intensely purple liners were inside my simple, boring gray mittens, was a fact known by me. The purple inside could not be seen unless I revealed it. Some people are like that…a lot of them, I suspect. You know – looking one way on the outside, but very vibrant and strong, or beautiful on the inside.

One such co-worker sat across from me again in the staff break room that very afternoon. She was one I had worked with occasionally, and saw as a gray kind of person: the kind of reserved, self-protective kind. That was my impression of her, and I did not even realize I was judging her on the surface, until she revealed matter-of-factly that her mother had left her as a teen and had gone on to a new boyfriend. This had left the young woman totally on her own to find people to trust again.

As I left the breakroom a few minutes later for a recess duty, I knew right away that she was strong and resilient on the inside…purple, as a matter of fact. The Lord said so. He let me see her inner nature that He sees, while so many see the exterior that is not as impressive. I felt like I had been set up for a lesson in seeing as God sees. He sees our purple insides, vibrant, colorful and royal, as His children! Lord, help me to see as You do.

“…the Lord sees not as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7