In the mysterious Book of the Revelation, the apostle John has a glimpse of heaven. In his pre-Christian days, the writer would have undoubtedly envisioned a heaven filled mostly with Hebrews like himself, perhaps with a handful of God-fearing Gentiles in the mix. Much to his surprise, the visionary did not see a homogeneous society, but a population vibrant with diversity. It is a world of peace and beauty, comprised of people from every tongue, tribe, and people group. The inhabitants of heaven bring their language, race, and culture with them, for that is the way heaven is designed to be. Diversity is, and always has been, God’s idea.
In her wonderful children’s book, God’s Very Good Idea (Good Book Company), Trillia Newbell explains how God created humanity to be both different and the same. While we are all created in the image of God, we are also very different. We are created in various shapes, sizes, and colors. We speak different languages and enjoy different forms of art and recreation. Unfortunately, just as all humans are created in the image of God, we also share a common problem. We ruined this world with our sin, so God sent Jesus to rescue us and His plan. What is God’s very good idea? It’s lots of different people enjoying God and loving each other, both in this world and the world to come.
I love God’s Very Good Idea for both its simplicity and truthfulness. Newbell reminds us that there is only one family of God, and the divisions which tend to create so much ugliness in our world are antithetical to God’s beautiful plan for His people. Today, I had Mexican food from the restaurant Habaneros for lunch while reading a superb new book by a black author. I sold two Bibles to a lady who immigrated from the Middle East, assisted a Catholic customer who called from Philadelphia and discussed next week’s schedule with an evangelical Hispanic co-worker. I’ve talked to Presbyterians and Pentecostals, blacks and whites, conservatives and progressives – all members of the family of God. When the day is over, I will thank God for His very good idea, and for allowing my little bookstore to offer a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven.
-Darrel Holcombe, Owner
Colonial Promenade, Alabaster