(Photo credit: ForestWander, http://www.lovethesepics.com)
After living nearly 60 years on the flat land of northwest Ohio, our new home among the hills of West Virginia brings a delightful change of scenery and perspective. During these days of autumn, I have noticed the way so many trees are revealed because they are staggered upward on the hills. I have marveled at the splendid array of rich burgundies, fiery reds, bright oranges, sunny yellows, earthy browns and verdant greens covering the hillsides. Because of the hills, we have been able to see more trees displaying their true colors and uniting to create a gorgeous palette of autumn splendor! The trees are beautiful in Toledo, but often we are only able to enjoy the ‘front-runners’- those trees that are positioned ahead of the others and whose beauty is unobstructed.
These hillside scenes speak to me of our calling to lift up others; to offer a boost that enables another to genuinely share and shine in this world. I think of how risers on a stage enhance vocal choir performances. Each unique voice is needed to make the song complete. No voice is lesser than another, but the risers help elevate and position each person so that all voices can be heard. The risers enable the vocalists to follow the director’s lead and help the singers to hear one another. The risers also help the audience to hear, recognize, and acknowledge each vocalist with smiles, nods and applause. A few small ‘boosts’ facilitate the performance for everyone- the vocalists, the audience, and the director.
How might we help raise those who have remained hidden behind the eye-catching front-runners, so that their beauty and worth are revealed and appreciated, too? Who might receive a boost if we were to share words of confidence or encouragement, supply financial or personal assistance, open a door to a new opportunity, listen and guide to offer direction, or be a caring friend? How can we elevate others to the proper level in which their beautiful gifts are fully revealed and unobstructed? Is there a way to lift someone just a bit- so that they may also contribute to the good of the whole?
All of us have unique and beautiful gifts to share. Gifts that God needs in order to create a colorful masterpiece of humanity. Gifts that God needs in order to create a glorious song for the universe. The work we do in raising one another will result in all of us rising together. We will rise in greater teamwork, in stronger unity, and in mutual generosity. We will be enabled to share all of our unique and necessary gifts. We may even be able to follow our “Director” better. We will rise in beauty and glory, as we become God’s diverse and colorful tapestry of humanity… God’s glorious and awesome song of joyful harmony.