R E D

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There are 1,795 species within the genus of the plant family called Begoniaceae (Wikipedia). They are commonly referred to as begonias. The image above is simply one example of this flowering plant.

Colors, shapes, sizes, leaves, buds, flowers, stems make each begonia unique…rather like people. Whether they are native to the soil where they originally thrived or are imported to a local nursery or store, the beauty of these flowers is in the eye of the beholder.

Certainly there are more grand and complex flowers than the begonia, but few genus’ have as many species. And, each species may produce thousands, if not millions, of the same plant type. Yet, each one is totally unique. Again, I am reminded of all the variations within the species of Homo sapiens.

Although red is not my favorite color, I have owned several red vehicles and find red blossoming flowers to be special. Perhaps red colored cars produce a significant contrast against the background of dull pavement and the abundance of white vehicles. And, it may be that when red blossoms are compared to vivid green leaves and stems they stand out so well.

As Mike Savage, a local Kansas City artist states, “Art is simple. You either like it or you don’t”. The same holds true with flowers, trees, birds, music, clothing, buildings, etc. However, there is one thing which should never be placed in the category of being liked or disliked.

People, as in ethnicity, gender and age.

Color, customs, language, tribe, religion, culture or any other differences should not be liked or disliked, but celebrated for their uniqueness. As long humans strive for peaceful co-existence they can all be red for that matter!

L A Y E R S

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Sunrise, Lenexa, Kansas, USA, at approximately 7:30 am or 0730 hours, January 31st.

Walked to my car from the health club after a workout and this is what I witnessed.

The actual sunrise was much more outstanding than my photograph, especially as it changed colors and shapes by the second.

After downloading this image to the computer, the layering seemed to magnify itself.

So, I thought about layers. We sometimes hear that certain things are only skin deep. At other times we hear that some things are buried so deep they can’t be found.

The reality is that when it comes to life, most everything that lives has layers: whether it be physical, emotional, mental or anywhere outside these realms. Life is complex.

I would like to limit this post to humans. We are fragile, yet flexible. We are strong, yet weak. Courageous, yet cowardly. Compassionate, yet cruel. Kind, yet mean. We are amazing. We are a mystery.

Like an onion which has a layer of silky skin upon juicy layers of zesty fruit, we can peel away and come to the heart of this vegetable without really understanding its uniqueness. We simply take for granted that is how all onions are and so be it. Like them or not. I venture to say that people are similar to onions in that we possess a complexity of layers.

We are not single cell organisms like some bacteria, but complex in every discernible way. This complexity is patterned after the Creator of the universe. Appreciate the commonness as well as the uniqueness.

If you can relate, I am so tired of the charade that is taking place in our world-especially in America. So many are divided. So many are angry and critical. So many are giving up. And, so many feel lost. This doesn’t even cover the majority of our world who don’t have a clue as to what I just stated-they are simply trying to survive. Can you imagine that…existing each day merely to make it to the next?

So, I return to the topic of layers. Explore the diversity, the uniqueness, the amazing in others, and in yourself. This may take some time as you peel away each layer, but discovery awaits. But, please, do not forget to explore the oneness we all have as human beings created in the image of God. May we all experience, and exercise, more peace and patience each day. The world needs it, you need it, and I definitely need it, as well.