Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous. – 1 Peter 3:8
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4:11
I recently found myself in a conversation about race and color with someone “of color” who grew up in the deep South. This woman is intelligent, well-educated, well-spoken, highly respected and revered by those who’ve been blessed by her presence in their lives. She is one of the most Christ-like persons I’ve ever known. I cherish her insights, wisdom and perspectives, and look forward to weekly meetings with her. The conversation we had was unexpected and unforgetable.
A question about race and color led her thoughts back in time to when she was a litle girl. She vividly remembers the thundering sound of horses’ hooves and the sight of faceless riders – men wearing white KKK robes and hoods. It was a terrifying experience for her. As the horses and Klansmen rushed past her, her eye caught the sight of a distinguishing tatoo on one of the men’s hand. That image stays with her today.
Her family was eventually driven away from the land and home they owned to seek safety from KKK threatened areas. She grew up, went to college, entered the field of education, and eventually become a principal in an underprivileged area where she worked hard to help black children and Hispanic children overlook color and learn to get along in peace.
I cannot imagine the terror my friend felt as klansmen threatened her and her family. Nor can I imagine what it’s like to be targeted or discriminated against because of the color of my skin. However, my eyes fill with tears when I think about the way ‘my people’ treated ‘her people’.
My friend is remarkable in many ways. When I look at her I admit that I do see color, but not the dark color of her skin. I see the colors of beauty and richness of spirit and soul, the colors that make her beautiful to every life she’s touched.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. – James 3:13 (This verse speaks perfectly of the way my friend lives her life.)
May God continue to bless and be with my friend of beautiful colors. Amen.