This week I’m thinking about fall leaves…

Always so beautiful, this time of year. Even if the colors are faded, fall leaf colors (at least in my neck of the woods) is the epitome of fall.

There are myriads of colors. Yes, there is red, yellow, green, orange, and even brown. But not just one shade of each! There are reds and oranges and yellows… and all sorts of amalgams in between. It is just staggering at the diversity!

As I was driving and thinking about all those colors, I had a funny conversation pop into my head:

     “You know,” said Red Leaf to Yellow Leaf with a curled upper lip “real fall leaves are red.”
“Nah-uh!” retorted Yellow Leaf, suddenly feeling defensive. “Yellow is the color of the sun! That makes us best.” And looking for a way for it all to run downhill, “Besides, Green Leaf is the worst — she’s just trying to hold onto summer.”

Ridiculous, right? To think about this incredible, beautiful display of God’s creativeness as arguing over who is better. Or, worse, trying to figure out how to put someone else down so that they aren’t the lowest leaf on the totem pole!

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

— 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

I’m sure you know where I am going.

Each leaf on a hillside is a pixel in the canvas God has created. If it were not there, the picture would be different. God made each one because it was important to the picture.

Why do we humans feel the need to look at one another and decide who is better? God has made this incredible diversity of people — yes, colors of people, but diverse in other ways, too. We are ethnically, religiously, socially, nationally diverse peoples. Why are we hell bent (and I do think it will send us to a hell of our own making, if it hasn’t already) on focusing on the negative of that difference? God created a world of staggering diversity, and declared that it was good! Who are we to keep saying it is no good.

Now hear me, I am not saying, “Stop seeing the difference between people.” In fact, I am declaring the opposite — celebrate our differences! God made us and gifted us differently — and then celebrated with a “It is very good!” and a vacation day. We are not diverse to be a threat to one another; we are diverse because God’s canvas demands it.


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