Do you remember the story of The Ugly Duckling, by Hans Christian Anderson? He thought he was ugly, because he was bigger, clumsier and looked so different from the others. He was really a swan, though no one knew.
As time passed, and after many adventures, including some misadventures, he grew and developed into a beautiful creature. He could hardly believe it when he saw his reflection. Much to his surprise he found out he was not a duck at all but a graceful swan.
No Ugly Ducklings
Don’t we see similar things happening in the world today? Often those who are in the minority of any particular place feel like they don’t belong. Or others treat them as if they are somehow lower down on the social strata. Preference is given to those who are deemed worthy by a certain system or a self appointed judge.
But in reality every person in this world is created in the image of God.
When God created the world and all that is in it, He made sure there was a lot of diversity. There is so much beauty from the tiny creatures unseen by the naked eye to awe-inspiring mountains or waterfalls. Creation includes an almost innumerable amount of creatures and vegetation, all in varying colors, textures and shapes.
We are all Like the Swan
God’s crowning beauty was the human being. He made each one of us in His image, yet we are all unique. There is much diversity but no group is more important than another. Each of us is beautiful in our own way.
Different is not ugly. Instead, we should celebrate the diversity.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
There is beauty in every one of us. We each have a place and we all need opportunities to grow and develop into the people God has has called us to be. Whether artists, musicians, writers, teachers, homeowners, renters, parents, children, old, young – all can be beautiful right where we are, just like the swan in the story.
Recently, my friend, Cara Meredith, wrote a book that was published by Zondervan just this week.
From the back cover of the book:
Cara Meredith grew up in a white bubble where everyone looked just like her. When she fell in love with the son of a black civil rights icon, her colorless view changed forever.
In Cara’s illuminating memoir, she asks, How do we navigate ongoing and desperately needed conversations about race? How do we teach our children a theology of reconciliation and love? And what does it mean to make space for he image of God in everyone?
The Color of Life paints a beautiful path from white privilege toward racial healing, from suspicion toward trust, from ignorance toward seeing the image of God in every face.
When I started reading it I could not put it down. She writes from a heart of love and drew me right into her story as I read. I would like to encourage you to get a copy of this wonderful book, The Color of Life: A Journey Toward Love and Racial Justice. Even if you don’t think it applies to you, reading it will be time well spent. Then, share it with someone else.