While researching for an upcoming parent talk, I looked over the creation account from Genesis 1-2. Curious about the diversity of creation, I decided to do some research.
It’s been many years since my college biology course (which I totally bombed because listening to fascinating lectures did not miraculously produce high grades!). But I was blown away by what I learned.
There are 100 billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy alone, meaning there are billions upon billions more in other planets.
In the ocean are 28,000 known species of fish. The key word here is “known”! Makes me a little glad I finally said yes to watching the fictional movie The Meg with my adult daughter last year. Maybe it’s possible after all (not that I’m venturing out into the deep blue sea to find out)!
Flying above us are 9,000 to 10,000 bird species. Can you imagine the songs they sing, all the colors they strut, and the feathers they boast?
Lushly growing all over the world are 391,000 plant species and 35,000 named spider species crawl the earth (thank you, God, but I don’t need to see those in a book or in person!). 5,416 different species of mammals are grazing and roaming. Disney and Pixar have a long way to go in displaying this variety of animal life!
Variety and Diversity
Something else stood out to me, plain as day. God must love variety. He must REALLY love diversity. Because if I were speaking creation into existence, I probably would have been cool with say, ten varieties of fish. One small spider variety would have been fascinating enough; a sprinkle of plants to fill a garden full of scent and color would have been simply beautiful. No, our God masterfully spoke into existence thousands upon thousands of varieties in creation. The swirling colors unique to certain bodies of water, the fish that teem in their depths, the birds flying overhead, the animals and plants inhabiting the earth. All of God’s creation is bursting with variety and uniqueness!
How countless are your works, Lord! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Here is the sea, vast and wide, teeming with creatures beyond number –living things both large and small. (Psalm 104:24-25)
This should lead us to marvel at the mind and creativity of our God. This also goes to show us that God was not afraid of diversity, which is a range of different things. There was no colorblind speak from the mouth of God when He painted the first sunset and sunrise. I can see His smile and hear Him affirm “It is good” about every single thing He created. Man and woman are also included in that declaration of goodness. And what God calls good, no human can silence!
Dust and the Imago Dei
Shaped from the dust or dirt of the ground, the first man and woman were some shade of dusty brown. Every human born since then also has a special and glorious trait unique to us; the Imago Dei. If God took great care to fashion Adam and Eve, and He knits each of us with care inside a mother’s womb, how do we then disdain any other human, who like us is God’s work of art? If we saw every other person (different hues, hair textures, eye colors, and shapes) all as God’s fellow image bearers and spoke this truth to the hearts of our children, what a difference we could make! Instead of insulting God’s intentional work by asserting colorblindness, what if we opened the eyes of our heart to really see how beautifully each of us is made?
Every day our lungs expand with God’s breath of life. With one voice, may we join David in declaring:
When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place, what is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him? You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:3-5)
David was so in awe of God’s creation that he penned a love song. He reminds us that we are His pinnacle of creation, inferior only to His deity, and crowned with our own glory and honor.
This is how we should see all of humanity. Different skin shade? Glorious! Unique hairstyle? Glorious! Taller, shorter, fuller and slimmer. All of us are gloriously crowned. Beloved, believe it and speak it to your children so they can grow up declaring that we are all glorious works of God!