By Krystin Jurries
Diversity is heavenly. Like a mosaic carefully pieced together to form a beautiful work of art, so does humanity in all of its multiplicity come together in stunning unison to proclaim the glory of its Creator. Although the fullness of humankind’s unity may not be fully realized at this current moment, believers in Christ may observe glimpses of what is to come when every nation, tribe, people and tongue will one day come together in worship before God (Revelation 7:9-10).
From a young age, the Lord has nurtured in my soul a love for people who are different than I. These seeds of hope for a more united humanity were planted in fertile soil which has grown into a passion for all of creation to hear the Gospel. Relationships throughout my life have taught me so much about cultures other than my own. I have traveled around the world on mission trips and have seen with my own eyes people who love and worship God passionately and faithfully in their context.
Through my time at East Texas Baptist University, I had many opportunities to interact and learn from differing cultures. Some of my best friends represent Chinese, Mexican, Black American, White American and Nigerian cultures. I am grateful that most of my roommates from undergraduate education were from cultures and/or countries different than mine.
When I came to Logsdon Seminary and Hardin-Simmons University in the Fall of 2014, I met five women who would quickly became best friends to me. Together we represent Brazilian, Nicaraguan, White American and Mexican cultures. This group of friends is a wonderful representation of the diversity Logsdon Seminary and I hold dear.
Logsdon Seminary has provided me an education which is deeply rooted in the authority of Scripture and led by the Holy Spirit. One of the many things which drew me to this institution was Logsdon’s passion for diversity. The leadership affirms the call to Christian ministry in women and men, single or married, from various cultures and races.
Each week we gather together around tables and share a meal of fellowship. Prayers of thanksgiving are voiced to God for our food and community, often in heart languages other than English. Although I may not understand all that is being said, I know that we serve a God who understands and rejoices in the prayers of all of his people from all nations. We may speak different languages, but we are alike in spirit.
All of humankind is equally loved and equally valuable. As followers of Christ, may we view people through the eyes of God, seeing his likeness crafted into each person with whom we come in contact.
Observing the creativity of God, we may seek opportunities to interact with cultures different than our own. As Christians, we should strive to learn from people who look and think differently than we, humbly realizing we still have much to learn. We might very well be surprised how much we have to gain by stepping outside of our comfort zones to understand the heart of God for all people. I am eager to one day to join in worship with a diverse crowd, presented as an intricate piece of artwork before God.
Multicultural friendships, mission trips and educational opportunities have watered and given sunshine to the seeds God planted in my soul so long ago. Therefore, I know I have seen a glimpse of heaven.
Krystin Jurries currently serves as a Chaplain in Residence at Hardin-Simmons University and is a Graduate Fellow at Logsdon Seminary. She is studying for two Master’s Degrees in Clinical Counseling/Marriage & Family Therapy and Family Ministries from Logsdon Seminary. She is from Fort Worth, Texas and is a 2015-2016 CBF Scholar.