Fall is here! The air is crisp, the leaves are turning beautiful shades of yellows, oranges, and reds, and in every market here, there are pumpkins. So many varieties of pumpkins! Since Rudy and I have birthdays within days of each other we headed out of the city for an afternoon to celebrate with a fall flair.
What we encountered was the largest variety of pumpkins we’ve ever seen. Row upon row, shelf upon shelf, each one with it’s own uniqueness. There were speckled and bumpy, flawless and smooth, oblong and awkward, ginormous and mini, and a wide array of colors from black to green to orange and every variation in-between. From the cliche Cinderella orange pumpkin to spotty ones that were easily mistaken for a dinosaur egg. Each one could be celebrated for what makes it different from the next.
This was in stark contrast to last fall when we lived in a city that boasted only two types of pumpkins to choose from. Living there you could easily begin to believe that a pumpkin must look only one of two ways. That’s it. A pumpkin is a pumpkin is a pumpkin.
Yet here I stood, gazing at hundreds of varieties, all tagged with their name. When I look at this picture (at the top) I see diversity, variety, an array of beautiful colors, shapes, and sizes. Beautiful eye candy that I devoured with each glance. I can’t help but notice a Creator who loves different. God could have easily made one type of fish, bird, animal, plant, or pumpkin. But in each part of creation we see a plethora of variety.
As human beings we boast a trait that nothing else in creation can, we are made in a likeness of God’s image. All humans. Every. Single. One. There isn’t one shade that is more like God than another. We all bring a unique perspective to the table and when one perspective is missing, it leaves a gaping hole. When all of our differences come together we have a more complete picture of God. His beauty is most reflected in our variety.
My small group is currently studying through the book of Ephesians and the topic of unity is repeated over and over. We don’t have to agree on everything to be in alignment or to live in unity. That’s the beauty of Jesus. He can unite what nothing else can. In Thirty Years that Changed the World, Michael Green talks about the importance of unity this way:
And today the Spirit seems to come with power on those who are united: such are the people he uses. …God cannot bless disunity, and he will not. …It is only when men and women are clearly being reconciled with one another, despite all their differences, that skeptics will stop and take note of the Reconciler.
When I stood and gazed at these two displays (pictured below) my heart came alive looking at the one filled with diversity. That’s the picture I want my life to reflect. But that won’t just happen on it’s own.
A few small, intentional steps I’m taking is by listening to podcasts by people who are from ethnic backgrounds different than myself, and being the huge bookworm that I am, by reading books that are from varying authors from different ethnicities, countries, and perspectives. We were created to be different on purpose. I want to learn to celebrate differences instead of fear them. What does this look like in your life?