As we watched the opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics, I was struck by how beautiful everyone was. It seemed like an unending parade of beautiful people. “There aren’t this many beautiful people in Hollywood,” I said to my husband.
“I think all people are innately beautiful,” he replied. “It’s when we start messing with ourselves that we hide the beauty.”
That got me thinking about how we’re all created in God’s image. And God is beautiful. So of course we’re all innately beautiful. But because we want to be better, we try to improve upon what God has already made perfect.
Athlete after athlete walked by – country after country – and I couldn’t help but notice all the different shades of skin. Colors of hair. Styles of clothing. And I began to wonder how racism can exist. I mean – how can people can look at another human being and not see God?
“Racism is a thing of the past,” some might say. But it’s not true. I know people who think they are better than others simply because of the color of their skin. Or because they make more money. Or because they live in a different part of town.
There are no two people who look exactly alike. Not even identical twins are completely identical. And yet so often we put God in a box. We think God looks like us. We think God would act like we do. Live where we live.
But what if God looked like our enemy?
And lets face it – we all have enemies.
Maybe they have skin of a different color.
Maybe they dress in a very different style. Or in no style at all.
Maybe they eat weird food.
Maybe they believe weird things.
Maybe they look like they could be from a country that is known for its terrorists.
Maybe they speak out loudly on a hot button issue in a very different way than we would.
Maybe they were once our friend, but because of a fight they no longer make the list.
There are so many things that divide us. But the reality is each one of us has a little piece of God in us. We are all created in the beautiful image of God. We are beautiful.
Who is your enemy today? How would you treat them differently if you took time to see the beauty of God in them?
Enemy is a harsh word to use to describe someone who eats different food than you do. In fact, I think it is a word that should not be used at all unless speaking in militaristic terms. It brings to mind extreme anger and frustration and life or death fear. But sometimes, when we think our way is the only way, intolerance sure does make its way into our heads, doesn’t it? And impatience with people who don’t fly as high or as fast as we do. And frustration when people cannot move in the direction we think they should, or as fast as we think they should, or don’t look as good as we think they should or could. People who live differently than we think they should are not our enemies, they are just different, and different is a good thing. It takes many parts functioning together to make a whole. The key is to keep them together
I was thinking about this the other day while I was people watching in Walmart. Everyone so very different (and hiding so many hurts.) Not one person alike in the whole world from forever ago, and how did God do that? I thought about the variety of birds that come to my yard and how I love all their different colors. And how seeing the same birds all the time would get so boring.
If only we could see Him in each person’s weird beauty instead of being blinded by our own fears and frustrations.
Wow – this is powerful and so true. As the mom of a child with a disability I find myself repeating “different is not bad.” It’s so true that we just need to step outside our comfort zone to spend time with people who may not be like us – all of that leading to compassion and love. This was beautiful. THanks for sharing.