THE VISUAL ASPECT OF “YOU”

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I was returning from Abakaliki to Onitsha after a speaking engagement and throughout the journey I noticed there were lots of police check point on the road. Some officers looked friendly, some looked mean, some looked serious, some looked unserious but one thing was common, they were all not just well informed, they were very ready for what they were sent to do. Throughout the drive through Enugu, they were not just consistently stopping us at every check point,they would ask the driver to park, turn off his engine and have all the passengers come down from the vehicle for a serious search. The first time, we thought it was going to happen once but it happened throughout all the checkpoints in Enugu express way.
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It was usually the men they thoroughly searched, they searched the pockets and also the travelling bags. But there was a surprising thing that happened throughout that journey. Each time we were asked to come down the bus at every check point, the officer in charge would point at me and ask “Hey… You! Where is your bag?” I would show them my bag, they will keep it aside and start searching others! It didn’t happen once, it happened throughout the entire exercise! My pocket wasn’t searched neither was anything belonging to me searched.
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I know it still wouldn’t have been any different searching my stuffs since I had no exhibit but I always dislike unwarranted access to my bag and the fact they won’t keep things the way I kept them. Some passengers even started talking, some said maybe I had a spell that makes the Policemen not search my stuff and some said maybe I know most of those policemen. None of that was true anyway.
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Many months later, I was heading to a friend’s house on bike after closing office. We got to a point and the bike man halted to a stop and asked “Sir, hope you have no exhibit on you?” I felt uneasy, I didn’t understood him. I thought he was meaning to tell me that robbers were usually on operation around that area and I said “I have my Tablet with me, it’s my office!” But he explained further “Police men are on serious activities here. It’s been happening for months. They search every passenger on bike for security reasons…” on that I got so relaxed and told him “they are doing a nice job.”
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As we approached the Police check point I saw others lined up to be searched, it was getting dark already. One of the police observed me with his torch and signalled the bike man to ride on. We moved on while others stayed back to be searched. The Bike man smiled “maybe it’s because you’re dressing and looking very responsible…” Well, I didn’t know I was.
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While there may be others factors I haven’t understood making the Police men to always skip me during a search, I know my appearance has always been a contributing factor. The exempt from search isn’t peculiar to me alone, I know some persons have always had that experience too! You are addressed the way you are dressed, that experience taught me that to a better degree.
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I was to travel to Lagos sometime ago with a friend and we noticed one guy who came into the terminal with so much arrogance. He had lots of chains on his neck, had an earring, had chain watch and chain wrist band on his wrist. He wore white shirt, white cap, Jean three – quarter short and timber land shoes! He looked very expensive but highly irresponsible as the orientation of our environment defined it. He came into the terminal complaining that he was held for a long time by the police, that they kept searching him and his phones! In fact, they seized one of the phones he refused them access to. After narrating the way he was treated by the security agency I was tempted to go tell him “but sir, your appearance alone seemed like a threat to security owning to the fact that most Internet fraudsters looks the way you.” It hasn’t been proven that he wasn’t one anyway.
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I had to make this narration so that you realize how much your appearance can influence how others see you. The Bible says God looks at the heart but man looks at appearance! That is how God designed man to see things! While God doesn’t consider your appearance but the condition of your heart, man considers your appearance before they can start trying to know what your heart is like. Man is first attracted to you before he starts getting to know you better. Some things happening in your life can be results of your appearance. People may be treating you the way they treat you because of your appearance.
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I remember attending an event that was greatly attended by politicians. I was dressed in Senators suit and I had no intention influencing how people treat me with that wear. A time came, security officers started blocking people from entering the main bowel of the auditorium except the politicians. When some officers saw me, I know they didn’t know me nor recognized me as any politician but they felt “he must have come with one of the politicians. Let’s be careful with him.” This way they allowed me into the main bowel. God! I felt big!
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A lady on my Facebook friends list posted a picture that showed her curves, it may not be bad looking anyway but not everyone understands it that way. Her trousers were so tight that even the lines of her briefs and shape of her intimate parts were shown so clearly. She gave a churchy caption to the picture because she is of course a believer, I know that. In few minutes some people started commenting stuffs like “hot! Sexy!” and so on. Knowing that “sexy” means “you make me want to have sex” she tried making trouble with people who made such comments and I smiled saying to myself “she was probably addressed this way not because of her heart but because of her appearance.”
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I have seen good ladies being mistaken for a prostitute! A friend of mine on Facebook would always post videos of twerks on the social media and sometimes she would post inspiring stuffs too. One of the days, a young man slid to her inbox to ask her “how much will it cost to have you for the night?” She let hell loose on him, called him terrible names and even posted their conversation for public scrunity. She had her values and standards but she was unable to communicate her values by her appearance. The young man mistook her for what he was used to because she appeared like them.
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Truth is, your appearance means nothing to God and it may even mean nothing to people who have matured in the faith. It takes some level of discipline to stop judging and addressing people by their appearance. Yet, this doesn’t account for 99% of folks out there. Naturally, man would judge by appearance first before judging your attitudes. If you know how you want to be addressed, dress that way.
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While some of us have the visible spark of God in our lives that even strangers takes cognisance of it, sometimes it is hidden under the appearance we have assumed. A wolf in sheep clothing will look harmless, nice and good to stay in the home where there are kids but regardless of how it appears, it remains a wolf and remains harmful. The same happens to a sheep that takes on the appearance of a wolf, it remains harmless but will always scare people away while the evil that appeared good will always attract people. How much more when a sheep appears like a sheep?
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I am George O.N
The Man-in-God
#GracefulGeorge
#KingGeorge
#ManinGod

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