A Rich Tapestry

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Eastern Europe to work with local missionaries and church leaders on developing and launching disability outreach and ministry. In one conversation with a pastor (of a growing, relevant church), he stated, “We do not really need a disability program, as God has blessed us with no one with disability.”

Did he just say that? Are you kidding?

Being a guest in their country, I had to bite my tongue at the foolishness of such a statement. I had many things I wanted to fire back at him – none of them resembling a Christlike response.

I began thinking about how richly blessed is the church to which I belong, as we continue to not only embrace those who are differently abled but intentionally go out and bring them in from the community.

God not only created diversity but thoroughly delights in it. His church should be a place like a rich tapestry woven together of many-colored strands. Colors on their own create a boring predictable monochromatic theme, but the melding together of colors creates a kaleidoscope of beauty in design, blending rich, bold deep hues with softer muted strands to create a masterpiece – beautiful chaos. Rough cords woven with softer flax strands, mixing many textures and forming mixed feelings to the touch. The pièce de résistance is thick with texture and color, causing an expolosion of one’s senses.

That is what God desires for His church, peoples of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds, the religious mixing with the irreligious, the gifted and not so gifted, the weak and strong, the rich and poor, all pursued by God, a God who loves us unconditionally just the way we are. Whether we are physically, emotionally or spiritually broken, He cares for us and stands there with His arms wide open saying, “Come to Me.” God’s grace is inclusive, indiscriminate and impartial for us all.

Diversity in His church brings about unpredictability, mystery, and amazement, all of which are unable to coexist with sameness.

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