A friend of mine raises chickens at her house out in the country. She has a beautiful home with lots of room for kids to run and play, and for chickens to lay eggs. I had recently started a diet and was trying to eat healthier foods, so I asked if I could buy some of her home grown eggs. She brought them to church and I took them home. That afternoon, I opened my carton of eggs to see what they looked like when they came from a “farm”. I was used to the beautiful, pure-looking, solid white, same shape, same size eggs that I get from the grocery store. These were definitely NOT those eggs! These were all different shapes and sizes, not to mention the colors! They all had a different shade of brown. Some were very light tan, while others were very dark brown. As I gazed upon them, God spoke to me. He pointed out their differences and how, from just looking at the shells, I would say they were not the same. But if I were to crack them open, they would all have the same contents on the inside. Sure, some might also have a little more yolk, but they would still pretty much all taste the same. You might look at one egg and think that the color or the shape would make it taste different, but if you were to brake them open and cook them, not knowing which egg it came from, you would never be able to tell me which egg came from which shell.
I suppose that, this being February, the month we celebrate Black History, this topic might have been on my mind a bit already, but I feel like the Lord has been speaking to me more this year about this than He had previously. I have never thought of myself as prejudice, and still do not. I love all people, regardless of race, background, or any other defining characteristic. It really bothers me that this is even an issue, but I know that it is still felt deeply by people that I care a lot about. And their pain has caused me to look around a bit more this year. I have realized that I live in a “privileged” world, where things might be directed more towards my comfort, and this makes me sad. What I’m referring to are ads and TV programs, and probably more, if I really stopped to consider it. At first, I thought this wasn’t true, but then, I started to notice that some of the black children in my Sunday School class colored their papers with people in them the peach tones that we refer to as white. They didn’t add the brown skin tones that I thought that they should. I asked one little girl why she had colored them white. She said “because they WERE white!” I looked at them, and I could see why she would say that. I thought they would still have looked just as nice with a little color to their skin, but what made me sad was that she didn’t even hesitate in making them white. The following Sunday, she did the same thing. Did this mean that she was programmed to always think that, when looking at a blank black and white picture, the people were always white?! How sad!
As little girls, we are given dolls that reflect who we are, so that we can relate to them better. Shouldn’t that be the way we color pictures, too? Not that a child of one race couldn’t color a picture of people of a different race. There is nothing wrong with that at all! In fact, I find that beautiful and healthy! But when that child only colors people a specific race, other than the one they are, what message does that say she is getting? This particular girl is absolutely beautiful! It’s not just about her skin color, it’s about her beautiful, cheerful eyes that light up wherever she goes! It’s about that breath-taking smile that makes my heart happy when I see her. It’s about that beautiful, happy-go-lucky personality that I see in her every single time I am with her! I want her to be proud of who she is and where she comes from and to know, she was made perfectly, by loving hands that were excited about her existence, that she is cared for by a King that loved her enough to die just for HER! And it didn’t matter to Him what her skin color was! I never want the word “prejudice” to enter her naive ears or to stain her pure heart, or any other child’s for that matter! I want her to look at a white child or an Asian child or any other child and see their color differences, but for it not to matter any more than having different colored hair or eyes. It’s just a part of who that child is, but doesn’t change their value or their worth!
As I was driving home today, I was thinking about this blog, and trying to figure out how to write it, and to convey the love that I have for all of God’s people. I didn’t want to come off wrong or offend anyone. This was just what was on my heart. Then, a thought occurred to me. I thought about how white people have a white Jesus, while black people have a black Jesus. I remembered a sermon my pastor had given me that really changed how I viewed Jesus. The topic was the truths about who Jesus really was. He said, after studying the Bible, he’d come to the conclusion that Jesus was probably not attractive at all! In fact, He was probably very homely looking. This was because the Bible is always quick to refer to someone as attractive, if they were. But that description was never given for Jesus. Well, there went any and every picture I’d ever seen of Jesus!
He went on to say that Jesus DEFINITELY was NOT white! This didn’t really surprise me much, since it wouldn’t make much sense that He’d be white, anyway. But my pastor also said that He likely wasn’t black either. He was probably middle eastern, or a similar race.
As I was reflecting on this sermon today, I asked Jesus, “What color were You? Am I allowed to know that? Is that something I can even ask you?! If we were made in Your image, who’s image was made first? A black man or a white man, or someone else?” His reply to me was, “Why does it matter?! Call me a patchwork quilt, because all men were made in My image. No color is wrong or right. I reflect all colors, just like a patchwork quilt.”
This was a beautiful thought to me. How perfect an answer! Why does it really matter?! It doesn’t! Jesus died for ALL of us, and He didn’t care the color of our skin! He knew that, just like my eggs, our shells mean nothing. It’s what’s on the inside that matters! It’s how we treat each other that matters. It’s how we LOVE each other that matters! Jesus didn’t say, “Love the people who look like you or act like you.” No, He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39
So, no matter who or where you are, what you look like, how tall you are, what shape you are in, what color hair, eyes or skin you have, I love you! And so does our Maker!!! He made YOU perfectly, with loving hands that were excited about YOUR existence! YOU are cared for by a King that loved you enough to die just for YOU! How exciting is that?! Oh, how I love our Abba, who first loved us! I truly am a blessed child of God, and so are you!