Some years ago as a teenager I found myself in an Art Class during Vacation Bible School at the church I grew up in. The Art teacher brought the class into a room with a wall of mirrors, sat us on the floor facing the mirrors and with paper and coloring pencils/crayons told us to draw ourselves. Everyone quickly began to draw, looking up periodically at themselves in the mirror, except for me. I was slow to start and never looked in the mirror. I eventually began to draw myself. Our teacher walked around the room to check our progress, stooping down to look at our drawings closely. She finally came to me and said loudly, “Who are you drawing? That’s not you. Look at yourself in the mirror. Look at your big beautiful eyes. Look at your beautiful skin, your nose, your lips, your face. Draw you!” I was a little embarrassed, at first, because she was loud and well, all eyes were on me. But soon after I began to do what she said. To my surprise, my final picture looked so much different than the one I started with. Our Art Teacher gave her approval of my finished work with high accolades, cautioning me to never seek to be anybody else again. She affirmed my uniqueness and encouraged me to allow it to shine. What a tremendous impact that one experience has had on my life!
One of the most courageous things we can do in life is to be, to pursue, to embrace ‘being different, purposely’. The power of different is not an opportunity for bragging rights, fame or fashion; rather the power of different is linked to God’s purpose for us, giving all glory and honor to Him. In the Bible, Matthew 5:14-16 says:
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (The Message Bible)
A light is not great by mere mention of it from our lips. Light is significant when it shines, making an impact on all in its midst. God made you unique, different so that you would shine for His glory. Yes you! So go ahead, be different, share your light and make sure it shines bright, leading many to God, our Way-Maker, our Everything. You can do this!