World cultures have always fascinated me and when my daughters were young, I taught a mission’s class at our church. Each class, we focused on a different area and people group. We learned a bit about where they lived, how they lived, their native language and the missionaries we supported there.
Awareness of people different from ourselves is crucial, but the awareness of our unique role in the world is maybe more crucial. I’ve seen many individuals lose their way and fall into alcohol and drug addiction, abusive relationships and unwanted pregnancies and worse because they didn’t understand their purpose and potential impact. I know this to be true in my own life. I don’t remember having a sense of how my individuality and presence in the world made a difference, until much later in life. This message has never been more crucial than it is now. With the polarizing political and social climate, national and global unrest, increasing poverty and health hazards, individuals are left feeling uncertain and insignificant.
God loves us so much that He created us in His image. The fact that He didn’t make any two human beings exactly alike confirms His desire for variety, a point proven throughout plant and animal kingdoms as well as the solar system.
To make this point with my class of children, I gave each one a piece of broken and tumbled glass in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and told them that their piece represented them and was one of a kind, just like they were. I asked them to hold their piece up to the sunlight shining in from the window and notice how much their beauty was highlighted when light shone through. In John 8:12 Jesus told a crowd, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.” The glass wouldn’t even be noticed in the dark, but brought to the Light it is amazing. Taking a large jar of tumbled glass from my bag, I asked the kids to add their glass to the jar. “This is the world.” I held it up in the sunshine with profound effect.
We then discussed the importance of talking with God, listening to Him, studying the Bible, letting the Light of Jesus shine in us and loving people who are different from us. Lastly, I gave each child a small kaleidoscope and as they pointed them toward the window and turned the ends, the colors flowed together and then apart making intricate patterns. “Do you see how each of those little pieces of glass have a place and a part to play in the designs?” I had my answer when heads bobbed and lips curved into smiles while kaleidoscopes stayed glued to their eyes.
A kaleidoscope would have no impact without varied color or Light. This holiday season I pray you find your unique place and realize your importance in the human kaleidoscope.