I have cousins who stand passionately opposed to my personal views on gun control; and yet, we really enjoy one another. We are family.
My baby brother recently converted to the Jewish faith and invited me to celebrate with him; I admire his faith and I think he admires mine too. We are family.
My sister and brother-in-law law have worked for a life that affords them things like a Porsche and trips to all-inclusive resorts. We don’t sit in the same income bracket but we still share with and serve one another. We are family.
My daughters have thick, coarse hair and brown skin. My hair is rail-straight and my hue is fair. It takes more than a glance to see it, but we are far more alike than we are different. We are family.
My father-in-law travels the globe sharing his cutting-edge wisdom of nanotechnology; my dad refinishes antiques and repurposes old things inside his workshop. They are different, but my kids will benefit from a multi-generational example of strong work ethic passed-on by both of their grandpas. We are family.
I could go on and on….
My family has some degrees of disparity and diversity. We span spectrums of mental health and material wealth. We display a various range of values. We stand on different sides of political aisles but sit together at the table. Our family portrait is a painting with beautiful chiaroscuro. There’s depth and contrast, complexity of palette too.
I love my family. We are a work of art indeed; yet still very much a work in progress. Added diversity will surely only add to its beauty. I’m certain diversity is worth pursuing. I know this because I have glimpsed the Kingdom of God and know it is an image FAR greater. It is a finished work, embracing diversity and displaying the fullness of beauty. The Bible describes a glimpse in Revelation 7:9:
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”
His Kingdom is a symphony of adopted souls, unique instruments, gathered in chorus of praise for their likeness to the Creator loving over them.
I think it’s worth pursing diversity with intent in our families because our world is loaded with echo chambers. It’s pretty easy to find and immerse ourselves in categories by our likeness nowadays. It’s particularly easy to fall trapped in an echo chamber in our current digital age. Self-segregated and polarized by the ease of connecting to likeness through social media, we feed ourselves a steady diet of confirmation bias reinforcing what we already believe and value. But the reverberating sound found in echo chambers is not like the symphony God intends. “If all musical instruments sounded alike, how would you know the difference between a flute and a harp?” asks 1 Corinthians 14:7
Our family is a primary echo chamber. At birth/adoption/marriage we add our instrument to the symphony already playing. It seems as important as ever for our families to embrace and include diversity of all types so that we grow closer to the inclusive image that God intends.
“People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God” Luke 13:29
We know that this is the picture God gives up for His church; we ought to hope for the same to be reflected in our families too. Hopers, let us praise Him for the artistry of the diversity God made for us to embrace. Hopers, will you pray with me today?
Through your Holy Spirit you created unity in the midst of diversity;
We acknowledge that human diversity is an expression of your manifold love for your creation;
We confess that in our brokenness as human beings we turn diversity into a source of alienation, injustice, oppression, and wounding.
Empower us to recognize and celebrate differences as your great gift to the human family.
Enable us to be the architects of understanding, of respect and love;
Through the Lord, the ground of all unity, we pray.
– Author Unknown