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I’m not sure why I felt the urge to write poetry on our trip to China, but some things seem easier to express in a poem. The seeds of this poem were sown while in the Chicago airport waiting for our plane and observing the many differences in people of all races.

There’s no such thing as Black and White
or Blue or Yellow or Red.
There’s Plum and Thistle and Aquamarine
and millions of colors inbetween.
My box of Crayolas has grown and grown
The simplicity with which I used to view the world has been replaced with the joy of hues and shades.
Is Cerulean blue, or should I use Navy?
Or will Midnight Blue make the sea seem more wavy?
Magenta seems better than Shamrock Green,
but I really love using Atomic Tangerine.

I’ve always had trouble painting a rainbow
that captures the beauty that God made.
It’s not Roy G. Biv that pleases the eye
but the shades that blend seamlessly
until you can’t tell where one ends and another begins.

When I’m around people who are only like me
I reduce those who are different to a crayon label-
calling Burnt Sienna and Sepia both Brown,
and Yellow describes Daisy, Sunflower and Canary.
But when I get up close to the rainbow –
when I see it for what it really is –
I see the combinations of millions of variations
that creates a beauty that defies explanation.

I can’t deny it, or say it isn’t so
or keep trying to draw a 7-color rainbow.
If I want to truly experience all the world has to offer
I must recognize and celebrate the infinite combinations
of people and languages and places and things.

I am American, but that’s not all.
Don’t lump me in with everyone else.
I’m a Christian, a dad, a husband, a friend,
a minister, a conservative, a UK fan.
If that’s true for me, then it’s true for you too.
I’ll love you even if you’re Ecru or Sky Blue.
Our differences can’t divide us or cause us to hate.
They add needed color to our monochrome lives.

So how do we unite so many variations and hues?
How can we reconcile different cultures and views?
We’ve got to have love for all in the world
and know that we’re all a part of God’s master plan.
He made us unique in all shapes, colors and sizes,
knowing that His palatte requires every color in the crayon box.

My color is no more important than yours,
but not less important either.
We’re all needed, all wanted as a part of His grand design.
He loves your color as much as He loves mine.

So I’ve made up my mind
to make a difference in the world,
to love each person for who they are
instead of who they look like.
To look past the label pasted on by someone else-
someone who doesn’t know
or care
or dream
what you can become
and see the beauty that is instilled within.

To treat you as one created
by the Painter of rainbows,
sunset skies and mountain peaks.
And we all will become individual parts
of the most beautiful…

…breathtaking…

…awe-inspiring…

…scene ever imagined.