A while back, I was visiting the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, Starry Night, resides. After scouring three stories of the building, I finally found the painting surrounded by tourists taking photos of and with it. Once my turn to take a closer look at the painting arrived, I stepped forward and examined each of the loose, yet beautiful brush strokes that Van Gogh had crafted so many years ago. The beauty of the painting made me think about the importance of each of the brush strokes and how immensely different the painting would look if just one was different or gone.

Brush Strokes and the Beauty of Human Lives

Just as the elimination of a single brush stroke would change the look of a painting, the elimination of a single person would change society. This is because every person in the world was created unique and with a purpose. Think of a painting, Starry Night for example. No two brush strokes in it are the same. Each one serves an individual purpose and cannot be changed, duplicated, or taken away without the entire look of the painting changing. This is much like the notion that no two humans are the same. Each of us has unique features, both inside and out. Each has beauty.

These God-given characteristics not only make us unique, but also incredibly sacred. After all, we were made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27). After physically shaping us like Him, He breathed life into us, which gave us the ability to live with Him forever in Heaven (Genesis 2:7). He was and is so proud of and in love with us that He wants to spend eternity with us. This truth not only applies to you and your loved ones, but also to that homeless man on the street, that YouTuber who you love, that man who was recently jailed, etc. Regardless of where you let your choices lead you in life, God will love you unconditionally.

The Big Picture

Another thing that I loved about being in the same room as Starry Night was seeing the admirers. As I looked around, I saw all different kinds of people, from twenty-something art buffs to middle-aged tacky tourists. Each person in that room had some complex life story and reason as to why they were there that day.

Now if you think about the world as a whole, it is even crazier that every one of the 7.4 billion people on this planet is where they are and doing what they are doing for an important reason. God designed amazing life stories for every one of them, that led them to do what they are doing right now.

The amazing thing about people is that each of us crosses into and greatly impacts each other’s life stories. Without other people, there is no way we could grow and get to the next stages of our lives. Think of where you would be if you had never met your best friend, significant other, etc. Your life would probably be drastically different without them!

Just as every brush stroke contributes to the overall look of a painting, every human contributes to the big picture of society. But what if one stroke was not there? What if one significant person in your life hadn’t ever been born? God’s plan for them would never be played out, which would affect an infinite number of lives surrounding theirs. The world would be different without them, just as a painting would be different without any of its brush strokes.

We should, therefore, appreciate every life on earth, from the lives of our mothers to the lives of the random people we bump into on the street, for every person has the right to contribute to the metaphorical painting of our world with the beauty that God gave them to share.

So What?

So now that you’ve read this far, you may be wondering why this all matters or how you could apply this to your life. My advice is to take this information and allow it to change your view on humanity. Let yourself look at that random person in the car next to you and appreciate how amazingly complex their life must be. When seeing a pregnant woman, realize how many amazing adventures are in store for the child in her womb. Look at an elderly person and wonder how many lives they may have touched just by living their own.

If you want to take it a step further, spread the word and share what you have learned about the beauty of life with your friends and family, so that they may look at everyone with the same amazement and complexity. For the more people that view life as incredibly sacred and beautiful, the bigger the chance that a difference will be made in the world, concerning respect for life.