Monday, February 9, 2015


Imagine! No one is like you. Your uniqueness means you need never have to fit in anyone’s box of sameness. Nor do you ever again need to look at anyone else without seeing their uniqueness. Hooray for variety!



When my identical twin sister and I were young, our grandpa often asked us in jest, “How can you tell which one is really you?” Only our parents and our closest friends could tell us apart. When we were babies, Mom knew us only by the small difference in the shape of my sister’s left ear.

Snowflakes differ slightly, too. After the Civil War, Wilson Bentley set out to prove their differences. Bentley, born in 1865 in the snow-belt of Vermont, where snow falls at the rate of 120 inches a year, loved playing in the snow. Play changed to interest in snowflakes when he received a microscope on his fifteenth birthday. He began studying the flakes under lens, later attaching a camera to his microscope and eventually photographing thousands of stunning snow crystal images. He became so famous for his photos and book, Snow Crystals, he earned the title of “Snowflake” Bentley. Jacqueline Briggs Martin’s award-winning children’s book, Snowflake Bentley, tells his story beautifully.

Never did Wilson Bentley find two snowflakes alike. Never did God make any person like another, including the most identical of identical twins. Every human and animal, every flower and tree, every rock and river varies from others in size, color, shape, personality, and temperament.

God’s exquisite handiwork gives us reason to praise Him, as King David did in the words of Psalm 139. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works … my frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

God is big on variety, which is obvious when we consider nature.  We like variety, too, yet we tend to draw toward people with similar interests, goals, and temperaments. Why is it difficult to accept their lack of sameness? Since God made us all different, we should value their uniqueness. We can learn to rejoice in human (and non-human) nature’s differences, even as Snowflake Bentley took pleasure in viewing the unique differences in snow crystals.

Bentley called snowflakes “masterpieces of design.” We should call every part of God’s creation a masterpiece of design.

Lord, thank You for creating us as unique individuals. Help us appreciate the beauty in our differences. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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