In the world of trans racial adoption and as my husband serves as the Pastor to Families of a diverse church (www.fellowshipmemphis.org) in the heart of the south, I hear the phrase – “I don’t see the color of people’s skin” often.
In fact, I said it myself for years. When I proudly proclaimed it, what laid behind my words was an honest attempt to line up with God’s word. I wanted to communicate that I was seeing the content of someones heart over their outward appearance, and that I did not value or devalue a person based on the color of their skin. I.E.- “I am not a racist”.
What I have come to learn is this: when saying that phrase we are missing a HUGE part of God’s creative nature and in actuality we are devaluing the person, their culture, and who God created them to be.
On this side of eternity, in our world, in my city, race matters. Color matters. It matters very much.
We are left with a choice. We can choose to celebrate it. We can choose to embrace the culture that God places people in for His Glory. He sees color. He created it.
Just ask my precious Asian babies if they see the color of people’s skin. They do. They notice every Asian person we see. Just ask the sweet African American teenager who lives with us during the week if he sees color. He does. He knows he is living with a house full of Caucasians and Asians. He knows he has to educate us on his culture and different needs. He sees. But we as white people, we are the ones saying we don’t see.
I think it is time we look them deeply in the eyes and say WE SEE.
WE SEE YOU. WE CELEBRATE YOU. WE VALUE YOU. WE THINK YOU ARE WONDERFULLY MADE BY A CREATIVE AND LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER THAT COLORED THE WORLD WITH HIS CREATIVE HAND. HE SEES. HE KNOWS THAT WE LIVE IN A FALLEN WORLD WHERE PEOPLE WILL AT TIMES JUDGE YOU BASED ON THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN. BUT HERE IN THIS FAMILY AND COMMUNITY WE WILL CELEBRATE YOU. YOU AS GOD MADE YOU. YOU IN THE CULTURE AND COMMUNITY THAT HE CREATED YOU IN. HE SEES. WE SEE.
A few resources worth your time:
– Our pastor Bryan Lorrits was asked to speak at Together For Adoption in 2011. If you have adopted transracially or are planning on it….please listen.
– A blog post by a friend who adopted from Ethiopia and serves at a diverse church in California.
Disclaimer – I do not employ an editor so please forgive typos, grammar errors, misspellings etc. I am a fast typer and often write while my kids are staring me down and waiting for my help. So proofing my blog will have to come some other far off day, unless of course you would like to take the job for free =).