The Mosaic / by maureen maniquis

As I look around and see the variety of life in all its forms and intricacies I am amazed by the diversity.  As for people, some of us seem like God just took a broad brush covered in Texas Pete’s hot sauce and doused us up with a good dose of spicy color.  And then, there are those who have just been dry brushed with a little bit of whitewash and nothing more.  And in between runs the gamut in degrees of intensity of personalities and natures. 

We are not unlike the rest of creation in its variety of intricate beauty and uniqueness.  I would think that the majority of us are fascinated by the nature shows that reveal the microscopic images of life hidden to our naked eyes or the telescopic images that display the outer limits of space exploration.  Most of us can just look at a bouquet of mixed flowers and appreciate the beauty of difference.  So, why is it that when it comes to people, we have a hard time accepting difference?  Do we really want everyone to be like us?  Really?  Would life really be interesting if everyone was the same?  What is there about us that drives us toward exclusivity?  Is it that we are threatened by difference?  Does difference make us feel insecure?  I’m not just referring to the issue of race here as the pundits fill our TV screens clamoring for ratings, but more to the heart of self-importance.  We do this with people of our own race in our own social circles.  We lean toward those who look like us and think like us and act like us to the exclusion of those who don’t.   But are we selling ourselves short of God's best for us when we exclude those who are different?  If difference wasn’t meant for something good then why does it even exist?  When God created each aspect of creation he declared that it was good.  Yet, here we often are with lines drawn in the sand. 

I am the first one to say that we are a fallen bunch but I can’t help but wonder if part of the healing is to see the beauty in the difference.  If we could just see for a moment what perhaps God’s eyes may see as a type of mosaic; broken shards being fit together with all our different shapes, colors and textures, being pieced into a grand design, would it change us?  Would we understand that to embrace the difference would be to enhance the beauty of who we are?  In the mingling of our different perspectives and experiences could we actually become individually more beautiful?  Each one of us embodies our own unique beauty but the contrast is what forms the magnificent image.  This image was designed with each shard hand-picked for its purpose, each one carefully cut and crafted to fit into the other.  Yet, often what we want to do is change people into our image. Line up a bunch of identical shards alongside each other and the image begins to recede into a shapeless splotch of color without depth or meaning. 

Can we step back from our individualistic vision of life and see the bouquet of beauty that surrounds us?  Instead of expecting others to be like us can we appreciate their differences as part of the necessity for a beautiful life?  Are we willing to be a part of the mosaic instead of being apart? 

 “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body.  So it is with the body of Christ…and God has put each part just where he wants it…how strange a body would be if it only had one part…In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary…All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.  (1 Corinthians 12:12,18-20,22,27) NLT