Did You Hear I Sing Backup for Bieber?


A few weeks ago Janelle and I had the opportunity to spend a few days in St. Petersburg, Florida. She was there for work, but I was there for play. I read and wrote and sat by the pool. It was amazing.

The conference went through Sunday, however I had to come back a day earlier than my wife to be at Rivertree for Sunday morning. Because we didn’t need a car while we were in Florida we used a ride service to get to and from the airport. It was cheaper than renting a car and cheaper than taking a taxi, not to mention it was fun to have someone waiting with a car for us when we landed.

On that Saturday, they were supposed to send what they called a “sedan” for me. We had a sedan for the ride to the hotel when we arrived. It had been in a Cadillac. Definitely not bad, and I was expecting something similar for the return trip. When the driver arrived he said nonchalantly, “I’ve got the limo today.”

The what?


I had never ridden in a limo before. I tried to play it cool as I climbed into the back seat and settled into the navy blue leather with my copy of the Tampa Bay Times. The ride to the airport was only 20 minutes, but for that 20 minutes I lived like the 1%.

When I see someone come out of a limo at the airport, I have to confess that I think differently about them than if they had pulled up to the airport in a rusty ten year old Oldsmobile Intrigue, which is what was waiting for me when I got to Detroit. We allow our perceptions of people to dictate what we think about them. People who saw me get out of a limo in Tampa might have thought differently about me (maybe he is one of Justin Bieber’s back-up singers…) than people who saw me drive away in my own car in Detroit.

Our perceptions about people are often based off of nothing more than what we think we have observed.

Most of the time, although we would never say this out loud, this translates to our perception of the worth of that individual. The homeless person on the corner gets a different mental value than the guy stepping out of the limo.  The janitor has a different mental value than the person in the corner office.

This kind of prejudging sells short the true value of the individual. When we see them as anything less than people who are loved by God, we don’t engage their true worth.