Walking to my afternoon classroom involves a trek to the opposite end of a very long corridor. Because the next class time begins in about 15 minutes, this hallway is usually filled with students waiting outside of classrooms, sitting on the floor and reading their books, texting on their phones, or talking with each other. As I walk past these dozens of young people, I am always struck by the beauty of diversity.
Our students truly come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I think about the different paths that brought them here, and the paths they’ll take when they leave. I think about the families that love them, think of them, pray for them. I think about the thousands of stories they could tell, and the thousands of lives they will touch in the future.
In the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (yes, a golden oldie), Morgan Freeman plays Robin’s friend, Azeem. In one scene, a little girl approaches Azeem and asks him a question:
Azeem: Salaam, little one.
Girl: Did God paint you?
Azeem: Did God paint me? (chuckles). For certain.
Azeem: Because Allah loves wondrous variety.
Look at a forest of trees, a drift of snowflakes, a crowd of people. Each is made different, in a burst of divine creativity in which we share. Isn’t that amazing?