One of the most difficult
things to remember is
that each person is
a unique and distinct being.
We seem to spend an enormous amount of time and effort seeking to be like everyone else
and then feel dissatisfied.
In the midst of trying to fit in with the crowd,
to stand apart.
We wrestle back and forth
with looking like everyone else
in our middle-class,
I can handle this,
I'm as happy as the next person selves
someone to notice us.
Most of the time,
we can blend in just fine.
We stand tall.
We don't venture an opinion
or voice an original thought
unless we know it is accepted
by those we are with at the time.
But then, the clouds come.
The temperature falls.
We begin to feel the stress of change.
All of a sudden it starts to show on us.
We no longer look like everyone around us. Perhaps there are those who are similar to us,
but we don't always notice
because we are trying to hold on.
It is autumn here.
The temperature is changing.
The clouds hang low and dark and bits of sunlight break through occasionally.
On the one hour drive to see a psychologist with a special needs child
who desperately wants to be included and
be like her peers,
I witness the beauty that autumn brings.
It is breathtaking.
I vow to take photos.
Perhaps schedule painting classes because wouldn't these autumn leafed trees make beautiful paintings?
I had forgotten the things necessary for these leaves to change their colors and eventually fall.
The temperature changes.
The tree is under stress.
Chlorophyll, the food for the tree,
is no longer made by the leaves to feed it.
The leaves do not really change their color,
but rather, the green fades away and
what has been there is visible to us.
I know that the leaves will fall to the ground and the tree will rest until spring,
but still I love the beauty that is caused by the stress of the environment around it.
I cannot choose a favorite leaf or color.
They are all beautiful to me.
They are even beautiful as the wind blows them loose and they float to the ground.
We rake them.
We collect them.
We wax them.
We paste them in books.
We rub them with crayons onto paper.
We love them for their uniqueness.
That which, just a week before,
looked like so many millions of other green leaves that we did not care to notice.
These days are difficult.
Trying to look like everyone else is easy
when the climate is right.
When troubles come and the wind blows cold, others can see the real person inside.
We feel uncomfortable.
We feel like we are losing our grip.
We feel like our youthfulness is fading
and we are so tired.
But, could it be, that when the stress of life begins to reveal the unique "you",
that there are others who pass by and are
inspired by your true beauty?
That, the very fact that you
no longer look like everyone else,
is what draws their attention and admiration?
That even ragged and floating downward,
there is a grace that gives someone else hope?
We are, each of us unique.
We are created in the image of God
for His good pleasure.
And yet, the teenager who will never be like her peers and very possibly will not understand why, and the mother who gets frustrated and weary and wishes she were a better person,
are very much the same.
They both want to fit in.
They both resist being different.
They both are blinded by the beauty that
God has placed in them that will only show during the cold and dreary times of life.
You, my dear friend,
are God's poiema.
Like the nature of God's creation
which speaks of His loving care,
you are also His poem.
He has written your life so that other's can see what wonders He has done.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ephesians 2:10 nasb