Maximizing Gods Glory Through Celebrating Difference
I am so thankful to be a Mom. What a humbling opportunity to raise a little human. I often find myself thinking about the issues our culture is currently facing and how I hope my daughter will grow up to be the kind of woman that brings hope to the broken places in our world. One area of brokenness that I have been acutely aware of lately is in how our culture views difference. All too often I see differences avoided or minimized as opposed to celebrated. I so often see people living fractured versions of themselves, hiding away their greatest assets because they feel they are “too much”, “too little”, or just “to different” to be valued and accepted. I feel so blessed to live in an area of the world where there is a lot of diversity because it brings so much difference and all of the beauty that comes with that. We live fairly close to Yale’s campus, which draws people in pursuit of their education, from all races, colors and nationalities. I know race has been a hot topic in the news recently. This is not at all a “new” issue but I am thankful for the awareness that has been raised about some of our nations deeply embedded and fractured views of humanity.
In light of all that I have been seeing I have decided I want to be intentional in raising my baby girl to see color. Yes. I want her to see color. I want her to see it in all of its beautiful hues. I want her acknowledge it and value it. I could raise her to try and not see color. I could raise her to pretend it’s not there and that we are all exactly the same. But we are not all exactly the same. What a tragedy it would be if we were all the same. I never want my daughter to feel a need to minimize differences in order to love, value and accept someone. I want her to see those differences as the incredible treasure to the world that they are and to love and value people because of them and not in spite of them. It's one of the reasons I make sure there is lots of diversity among her baby-doll friends!
This really goes far beyond color though. Peoples response to skin tone is just one of the ways I see this fear of difference playing out in our society. I pray my daughter grows into the kind of woman that makes people feel more comfortable to be themselves because they have been with her no matter what their differences may be. I hope she makes people feel so valuable and that they grow to love the parts of themselves that perhaps they have tried to hide away from the world. I hope she uses her voice to call out the beauty in the difference she sees around her and to empower those she comes in contact with. If we are all made in Gods image then I have to believe that part of the reason we are all so vastly different is because it took the entire world population with all its races, cultures, personalities and individual stories to even scratch the surface of seeing God in all his complexity.
When I meet someone, I want to look at knowing them as an opportunity to see something of God in them that I may have never seen before. When my daughter meets someone who is so different than her I want her to see their uniqueness as an opportunity to learn more about God. I said I was raising my daughter to see color but deeper than that I am raising her to see humans. When she meets a new person, I want her to see that they are a person and being a person means having a story. We see people first and we learn their story second. Their race, their culture, their history, these are all small pieces of what make their story but they are incredibly valuable. It’s true that there are so many ways that we are the same but we need to be careful when we talk about similarities so that we don’t lose the beauty in the difference. To say blankly that we are all the same is to minimize humanity. To minimize humanity is to minimize the image of God. To minimize the image of God is to miss countless opportunities to bring God greater Glory and find our deepest joy in doing so. I want to maximize the image of God and maximize His glory, and to do that we need to stand with each other and celebrate each others differences.