Thursday, August 19, 2010


This is a photo of Andre Dawson; recently inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame.  Look at his picture. 
This is how he looks all of the time.  Intimidating?  Mean?  Both?  What is this about?

This is his look; The Look. 

In 1987 I was speaking in chapel at Busch Stadium one Sunday.  I was to first speak to the Cubs and next to the Cardinals.  About 20 Cub players entered the room where we were to gather.  To speak of Jesus in such a setting is like a triple thrill to me.

Andre Dawson entered the room in uniform with "The Look".  He glared at me the entire time I spoke.  I kept wondering what it was I was saying that disturbed him.  I had never been around him; so I didn't know what might be ruffling his feathers.  Furthermore, I wasn't too keen on finding out.  He never adjusted "The Look".  The entire time I wondered what I was saying wrong for he surely didn't appear to agree.

When the chapel service was over, Andre made his way toward me.  Shoot.  I had seen that look a hundred times at the Tuesday noon Preachers Luncheons.  It wasn't a good thing. 

As he made his way toward me he reached for me.  He shook my hand and clasped my hand with both of his---huge, gigantic hands.  He sternly looked down at me, peered into my eyes with his eyes like flames, and said, "" 

He liked it!  I didn't die!  I wasn't thrown to the floor and stomped!  He liked it!  I like it that he liked it!  We finished chapel in a tie!  I'll accept a tie!  I lived!

So here's something I learned.  Andre is one of the kindest, sweetest individuals one can meet. But his look would not lead you to conclude such at first glance....or second.

My estimation of what people are thinking because they have "The Look"---whatever it is---is shallow, weak, and most likely way off-base.  I met Andre later at another event.  A charming man.  I told a Cardinal pitcher about how afraid of Andre I was and the pitcher said he was scared of him when facing him from the pitcher's mound. 

So watch your estimates of "The Look".  You may decide they aren't interested in God or don't like you or would not care to be befriended....and you just might be misreading.  Look past "The Look" and into the heart.


Jarrod said...

Good post! I try to adjust my comments when I see someone with a "look" in the audience. Sometimes I just try to explain myself a bit more. Some people, especially early in my short ministry life, were a bit intimidating. Experience does help to diffuse that nervousness from "looks".

Greg said...

Good point. Funny, too, when I look at "THE LOOK" on one side of my computer screen and the caricature of you on the other! Quite a contrast in "looks."