Friday, July 11, 2014

God's Mosaic--by Linden Malki

Mosaics, built up one tile at a time, can be unique works of art. Human beings, created one DNA molecule at a time, are also unique. We are told in Scripture that we are created "in the image of God", so why are we not the same image? Think how big God is, bigger than everyone who has ever lived, or will live, put together. Imagine a mosaic, each one of us the image of a single tile, all together making an image of God. Each tile is comparatively small and different, but each is important to the whole

We are not only the product of our physical DNA, but we each have responded to outside inputs through our whole lives. Some things are inborn--not just our obvious physical characteristics but our temperaments and reactions. I have four children; they were all different from birth. One of them refused to eat on the hospital's schedule and screamed for 20 minutes--at 2 days old. She knows what she wants and goes for it. One of them took whatever was offered and went with it. . One of them would start out in a place that that was usually about five steps away from what she was really after. One of them would lay out what he wanted, and is very talented at getting people to go along with truly amazing things. Even my husband, whom I knew just about as well as anyone on the planet, was a different person with a different brain in a different head, and I learned that I could not expect him to think the way I did.

One of the reasons many people come to this country is that it is relatively open to differences. Many cultures in this world are very other-directed, and much of what is expected of people is forced from the outside into a fairly narrow range. One thing that is characteristic of such cultures is that a strong-willed person can mold those expectations in line with his own self-interest. Often there are habits and traditions that may not be healthy, but they've always been done that way and there is a lot of inertia behind them. And then, there are cultures and sub-cultures that become enamoured by change for its own sake, without adequate evaluation of the results.

It's easy to forget that we are all different, and see things differently and value them differently. We can judge narrowly by a single facet of a person, and give it too much weight, either negatively or positively, as if nothing else about them is of any value. Sometimes we haven't learned how to peacefully deal with differences. We once knew a man who was an honest, ethical, straightforward person, but had a terrible time keeping a job. He would get a job, but if asked to do something that he thought was wrong or dishonest, would refuse--in a way that usually ended up with "then I hit him and got fired."  On the other hand, we see people who are persons of good will, assuming that everyone, given the opportunity, will respond rationally and cooperatively. Unfortunately, they are often facing people whose motives and characters are not what they appear.

This is another place where we do not often understand the value of spiritual discernment. There are times when we need to pray against an evil that is working through someone we have to deal with. We can pray for people who are judging us--sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly, in situations that we cannot handle on our own. We can hang onto an attitude at the expense of a relationship; God showed me some years ago that a cause of my own anger was usually self-pity.. We can listen to good friends who talk good sense into our lives. We not only have Jesus' example, but His strength, wisdom and presence. We can allow Him to make us the person we were created to be, and to appreciate His working in other people as well.  John describes Jesus in John 2:24-25: "He knew them [the crowd in the Temple] inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn't need any help in seeing right through them." We can ask Him to show us who is open to Him, and who He needs to protect us against.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This piece gives us an appreciation of ourselves as the crown of God's creation, and it gives us an appreciation for Him allowing us to live in a country that honors diversity. It also shows us ways in which we as individuals can also honor diversity. Well Done!