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Similar, Yet Unique


My church brother was excited to show me his prized possession and answer questions about the amazing mystery embodied in this work of nature. “Look at this root of bananas,” he said with a big smile. “The smallest plant is the oldest and the source of the other two.” Having first looked at the root and then into his eyes, I smiled, and out came my usual response: “You serious!” I was not prepared to believe him.

In my desperate effort to satisfy my sense perception and prove him wrong, I examined the root while questioning him. My fervent effort was fruitless. Constantly laughing, he systematically re-emphasized the facts of the phenomenon.

Months have passed since our encounter, at which time I had photographed the plants. It has not failed to puzzle me and my conclusion is that some phenomena are beyond human comprehension, at least to the naked eye. So, is there a message and lesson in this for me and the rest of us? I turned my attention to the spiritual aspects of this “strange fact”, to see what lessons could be learnt.

These bananas trees emanated from a one root, but they developed and progressed differently. This “natural mystery” reminded me of the uniqueness of each person in the world. Have you noticed a similar situation in families, how children may have the same parents, attend the same school and church, be exposed to similar training, and given the same opportunities, but turn out differently?

It is especially intriguing that all human beings are from the same source; all have the capacity to think, reason, make decisions, worship, communicate, create, appreciate beauty etc.; yet, we are all one of a kind. There is no one else like you or me, no matter how much we resemble. Max Lucado puts it well: “You are the only you God made... God made you and broke the mold.” We are all unique and special. Every individual is a work of art and a masterpiece who has been “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) in the image and likeness (Gen. 1:26) of God.

I will not condemn that little banana tree because it has not, and will not produce a seven-hand bunch of bananas; I will not condemn the tall, powerful banana tree for towering over that which gave it life. Instead, I will marvel at the wisdom of our God.

Is it possible for us to abhor and evade every temptation to judge or condemn others because they are different from us? I am challenging myself to do so. Will you join me and let us help make God’s world a better place?

Thought: Everyone is one of a kind.

Prayer Focus: For wisdom and grace to accept our fellow humans who are different from us

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