I am about as fashion impaired as a person could be.
Everybody has those pictures of when they were kids wearing ridiculous outfits, bad color combinations, and cringe-worthy haircuts. You didn’t worry about what matched, you just threw on what was clean and closest to you and off you went. But for me those pictures extended from childhood through adolescence into college (and thanks to the advent of Facebook, they are there for all to see). Sisters, friends, and girlfriends would all frequently chuckle at my haphazard combinations.
One fashion faux pas I vividly remember was going to church one morning with an outfit that I was certain would be fashion approved. I would coordinate. I would be intentional. But my ensemble consisted of shirt, sweater, pants, and shoes – that were all the same color. Coordinated! But, needless to say, it did not get the reaction I had hoped. My sister’s blunt response was simply: Dustin – too much of one color.
Beauty is not found in uniformity but in the coordination of variety. Nobody stops and stares when the sky is a uniform shade of blue but we are stopped in our tracks when we behold the splendor of a sunset with blues, oranges, purples, pinks, and a host of shades in between that all weave together in breathtaking wonder.
Just as in nature, God displays His glory in redemption through a kaleidoscope of skin colors, languages, and cultures. In Revelation 7:9-12, the praise in heaven around God’s throne crescendoes with the cry of a multi-ethnic multitude:
After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures, and they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!”
Just as the colors weave together in grandeur as they rip across the sky to declare the glory of God, so also do all the nations of the earth combine with one voice to magnify the praise of God in the heavens. As the nations praise God it causes the angels to erupt in echoing the praise and the splendor of God’s glory reverberates around the throne with worship.
John Piper once memorably said, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” Worship, ascribing the honor that is due to God’s name, requires that God’s people keep their eyes on the nations with a passion to see them wash their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. It is God’s glory and the desire to see it known and treasured that drives us to the nations, drives our feet to the mountains with the good news.
I fear too many of our churches, too many of our dinner parties, too many of our group of friends, too many of our prayer lists look just like my ill-fated monochrome outfit. Too much of one color. The kaleidoscope of God’s glory compels us to go outside of our homogenous circles to join the multitude that surrounds the throne in heaven.
Pray for people of a different color or background than you. Invite people different than you to your home for dinner. Take vacation and spend it among people of a different ethnicity than you. And do it because you love the glory of God.
This thing of beauty is the passion of an Artist’s heart By God’s design, we are a skin kaleidoscope.