by Christine Sine

by Sue Duby

After hearty agreement that we didn’t feel like our normal Sunday hike, Chuck and I tossed aside our mutual guilt and headed to Starbucks.   Settled in comfy chairs, sipping our coffee in the sunshine, we both fixed our eyes on the same scene.

4 young teenage girls, happily light-stepping it to their car.  All in a row.  Matching strides that kept them in sync.  All in summer dresses, all the same length.   All with long, straight locks cascading past their shoulders.  All holding “Grande” sized cups in their right hands.   Beautiful. Yet something inside me wanted to gently whisper their way, “You don’t have to look the same.  You’re one of a kind.  Just celebrate you!”.

A few days later, I found myself on a quiet back porch, again in a comfy chair sipping coffee.  This time, solo, on my 3 day “silent retreat” (not difficult to master the “silent” part, when nobody else is around!).  

I soaked in the solitude, listened and observed.  A symphony of sounds echoed through the forest behind, back and forth across the landscape.  Whistles.   Caws.  Squawks.  Chatter.  Squeaks.  Tweets.  Not one of them the same.  Cries from chickadees, cardinals, robins, blue jays and more.  So many shapes, sizes and voices.

Then, my eyes fixed upon the forest.  A prickly kind of fir tree boasted dusty green needles and brown threads of disease.  A thick flush of lime green leaves, bigger than my hands, waved in the breeze just down the hill.  A tall, slender, “looking dead” trunk, sported a solo, bushy green “topper” 60 feet up.  Much like a shorn poodle with a curly head!  Another bare one seemed to cry out, “I’ve had a rough winter!”.  Yet,  a bundle of fresh green leaves at the base whispered, “I’m going to make it!”.

So many differences.  Anywhere we look.   Any focus, whether it’s people, birds or trees.  All part of His handiwork.  His craftsmanship.  His way of reminding us, “Unique is to be treasured”.

I found myself smiling, with a nudge to pause and ask, “What makes me unique?”.  So, I took the challenge.

  • I have curly hair.  Only discovered in my 60’s (life could have been so much easier!!!)   No more curling iron, brushes, rollers,  or “tools of the week”!   Just a weekly wash, quick dry, fluff with my fingers and I’m off to face the day.
  • I’m a black and white girl, love following rules, drive for clear answers and delight in solving puzzles.  At the same time, I’m creative.  Get restless with the “same old” anything.   Love exploring without agenda.  “Free flow” beats a scripted list of activities any day!
  • My big toes are big.  Chuck says, “Those are dangerous!”.  Watch out if I accidentally bump you with one.  I just smile and say, “Thank you  Dad!” (his were even worse).
  • I’m the oldest in a family of all boy cousins on my Dad’s side.  Torture on holiday celebrations, shifting between the boring grownups in the living room and the wild, screaming boys in the basement!
  • I love simple.  Explaining algebra in a way that lights up a student’s face.  Continually removing clutter from any room.  Serving the same “chicken in a dish with everything” for any guests (shhh…. Don’t tell!).

Unique means “being the only one”.  “Being without like or equal”.  “Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.”

We most often think of ourselves as “unique” to mean “different”.  And that “D” word seems to carry a negative vibe.  Different,  when I want to be like others or change the parts that are mine alone.  The truth is, we each ARE unique.  His plan, not ours.  An unchangeable fact.  

Thank goodness!!  How dull and boring life would be, if we actually were all alike.  No variation.  No interesting qualities that would draw us to be friends.  No differences to share in community, making a masterful, “only He could do it”, vibrant whole.  

Remembering the tapestry of friends I’ve met across the globe, my heart bursts.  All different in so many ways.  All special.  All a wonder.  All unique.   I am not like a one of them, and yet, a valued part of the whole.

Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out.

I Timothy 4:4   MSG


We know that all creation is beautiful to God and there is nothing to be refused if it is received with gratitude.

I Timothy 4:4   TPT


We are His creation.  Formed and fashioned with care, purpose and love.  No mistakes in the process.  All bringing pleasure to Him.  

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14   NIV


I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!

Everything you so is marvelously breathtaking.

It simply amazes me to think about it!

Psalm 139:14    TPT

May we ponder and celebrate  the many ways we each display His unique handiwork.  May we embrace with joy and thanksgiving, His good, delightful and treasured creation in each of us.


GoWResourcesDid you know that alongside Christine Sine’s book The Gift of Wonder, we have many resources available to you? The free downloadable bonus packet or beautiful prayer cards featuring prayers from the book, for example – something to hold and behold! Or perhaps you’d like to journey through the book alongside a retreat – we have that too! You can check it all out in our shop!

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