‘God mocks proud mockers, but gives grace to the humble.’ Proverbs 3:34
I was born and raised in a town where, outside of the university community, there were very few black families. I remember exactly two families whose children I attended school with. But that’s not all there is to the story…
These kids were my friends. And they were my friend’s friends. I cannot ever remember having a second thought about color. Even though we spent the majority of our childhood growing up in the sixties, and perhaps because we lived in the north, we never saw such things as segregation. We all used the same restrooms, the same water fountains, the same entrances and exits at public buildings and establishments. Their homes were not in a ‘black’ section of town. They shopped in the same grocery stores, and went swimming in the same pools, etc, etc, etc. So I did not have any preformed ideas about what we now call the ‘race’ issue.
Believe me, I haven’t been living under a rock! We were all educated in the Civil War, and hence, in civil rights. But it was like it didn’t apply in our town. And being kids, we may not have even been aware of it if it did. But my parents taught me from an early age that God created all men, and they were created in His image. Therefore in my mind’s eye, my friends were merely a different color, not different in any other way.
Some of my favorite memories include these two people, one a gal and one a guy. Funny, smart and very articulate, my girlfriend always kept me laughing, and also taught me a lot about culture in other countries, and about social concerns. No, none of them about ‘race’.
My other friend, who was a guy, was just the nicest person I had ever met. He also brought laughter and joy. The intense feeling of friendship I felt for these two special people remains with me today. If I think back and imagine them not being a part of my life, I can feel a sense of distinct loss.
My point is this: how did race become the new political machine gun? Why is it that in this nation, where anyone with the ability and the want to can get ahead, can achieve their goals, and enjoy equal opportunity in almost anything they choose, we still hear things like, ‘she is a racist’, simply because of a disagreement in the political arena? Yes, of course I know there are still some who are openly anti racial. Just like there are many who are antiChristian, anti-women, anti whatever their chosen thing of the day may be. We will always have haters, or those who simply do not understand, in our society, and every society. But that does not make race an open season target. And it should not be the very first thing someone zones in on when they have no other true weapon to yield.
God did create us all. He loves us all. He gave us all special gifts and talents, and He wants all of us to live together as sisters and brothers. He does not want us to have race lines between us. He only wants us to have love for one another.
Grace is a wonderful thing, while racism is an ugly thing. God’s grace is forgiving. God’s grace is eternal. And God’s grace is right there before us, extended by His loving hand, whenever we simply ask for it.
So if you are tired, like me, of all the race talk, bow your head, and ask almighty God to show us how to stop it. Ask Him to direct our paths of righteousness, and if you are one of those who are propagating this race thing, ask for forgiveness as well. Because people are people, and that is all they are. We are all alike, some blond, some redhead, some fat, some skinny. Some are smart, and some not so much. Some are naturally loving and kind, some are more reserved with their emotions. And obviously, some are of different color. But we are all people, we all have value, and we all, if we are of God, are covered by His grace.