A couple of weeks ago I stood before Niagara Falls, the seventh wonder of the world, on vacation with my family. I was breath-taken and speechless. Words and pictures can't describe the beauty of 757,500 gallons of water each second pouring over rock cliffs and spraying up into a sparkling mist between two countries. It's majestic and powerful and makes necessary saying the word "wow" without meaning to an unnecessary number of times.
What took my breath away even more than Niagara Falls, though, were all the different people standing around gaping at the falls. The observation deck and the railings separating the land from the falls were covered with people of all ages from all different countries and religions speaking all kinds of languages, all mesmerized by water falling over a cliff.
I realized how much God must delight in creating something so beautiful so his people would come together from everywhere and every walk of life and be in awe together, marveling at his creation. How much he must love that this is a place where differences don't matter, but his people are united by the utter beauty of something he made. Looking at Niagara Falls amid all the people, it was amazing to think that it takes differences to realize how alike humanity is.
It also amazed me that God delights in me and in all people more than something as beautiful as Niagara Falls. Watching people's different reactions to the falls helped me understand why, though. A lot of people were taking pictures from every angle possible. Some people were looking through those binoculars fastened to the ground that cost 25 cents per minute. Some people were delighted, others acted as if it were ordinary, everyday stuff. A woman in a wheelchair sat overlooking the falls reading a novel. A little boy waved and said "Hi, Canadians!" to Canada on the other side of the falls.
All these different, crazy, goofy reactions, and none of them was wrong. Each of our reactions were an expression of who we are -- the unique individual that God created, understands, and delights in -- and how we relate to our God.
Niagara Falls has no choice but to be a glorious display of water careening over rocks every single day and night of the year. On the bank and in boats in the water and walking up decks to be as close to the waterfall as possible, though, were all these quirky, helpless and utterly beautiful people God fashioned in his own image with free will choosing to let their hearts be raptured by something he created. It meant so much to me, and I love thinking about how much more it meant to our Father.
I am so grateful for humanity, that I get to share in something God has made so sacred and placed such worth in that he chose to be a human himself. The dignity of each person fills me with awe before our Creator.
Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.