by Yvonne Tumblin
I give thanks to you that I was marvelously set apart. Your works are wonderful—I know that very well.
When we hear the word diversity, we often jump to a meaning of race and nationality, but the word diversity basically means “variety.”
Human beings have unique traits. Some people may call them quirks, and some people like the labels of personality types. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of our traits anymore because the people who are closest to us have adjusted to them. If we all had the same personality, though, it would be problematic, and the world would be quite boring.
Practically, there are benefits to diversity, even within nature. Diversity of trees are important in a forest for a number of reasons. In addition to the variety of species of birds, they have unique traits such as where and what they eat, nesting habitats, protection techniques, and certain mannerisms.
We know that God, the creator of diversity, knew the importance of it on earth, as God required Noah to take two of every species onto the ark before the flood:
“From every clean animal, take seven pairs, a male and his mate; and from every unclean animal, take one pair, a male and his mate; and from the birds in the sky as well, take seven pairs, male and female, so that their offspring will survive throughout the earth” (Genesis 7:2-3).
Often we fight against one another because someone is different from us in personality, looks, or mannerisms. God who created us loves that uniqueness in us. Let us not forget, so we can embrace it in ourselves and each other.
“You will be a splendid garland in the Lord’s hand, a royal turban in the palm of God’s hand” (Isaiah 62:3).
Prayer: Dear God, help me not to shy away from the fact that you love me for who I am. Help me not use that as an excuse for undesirable behavior, but as reassurance that as long as I trust in you every day for guidance, you will use me just as I am. If I have any animosity toward another person that is different from me, please change me. Amen.
Questions to Ponder:
1. In what ways are you unique?
2. Can you share how you might use your unique traits to serve others?
3. Why do you think God created such diversity?
4. In what ways do you struggle to accept someone else in their diversity?
5. What can you do to be more accepting of others who are different from you?
Yvonne Tumblin lives in Nicholasville, Kentucky. She is a lifelong United Methodist, but for the last seven years has served as pianist and music director of St. Peter's Anglican Church in Frankfort, Kentucky. She has a husband, three daughters, and three grandchildren.