My wife and I both love autumn.

Just about every time we are out together this time of year we make some kind of comment about the beauty that has descended on Ohio. The other day we were walking, and Karen pointed at a cluster of trees.

On a side note, beauty is always better shared. If you see something amazing the pleasure is always multiplied if you have someone to share it with. I will always remember being in a changing room after swimming in the Dead Sea in Israel. The Dead Sea is so saturated with salt it makes it exceedingly easy to float. You can actually sit in the water like you are sitting in a chair. It’s really pretty phenomenal. Anyway, I was in the changing room with men from every nationality, and a man about 10 feet away from me suddenly said, “Does anyone here speak English?” I said, “I do.” And he looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Was that AWESOME or what?!” That’s all he needed. He wanted to share it with someone – even a stranger.

But back to our walk. Karen pointed to the cluster of trees and said, “I just love the contrast.” There were greens and reds and yellows and every shade in between.

It struck me that the contrast was what created the beauty. Those trees had been side by side all year. But when all the leaves were green, we walked by without a second look. But now there was contrast and it made us stop and behold what God had made.

Sometimes in the midst of all the racial strife, someone will ask me, “Why did God make races to begin with if he knew we would have all this trouble?”

The reason is the beauty of contrast. Diversity is God’s design to bring out beauty. The beauty is not in spite of the diversity but because of it.

God has made people white and black and every shade in between. How we can take something so beautiful and make it into something ugly is remarkable. I don’t want a world without contrast. I want to see all the beauty God has made and I want it to remind me who God is. I want to learn to experience diversity in such a way that I will be like the guy in the changing room after swimming in the Dead Sea. I want to turn to someone and say, “Is this AWESOME or what?”

When we all start doing that, we will finally understand why God made races in the first place.