I have a confession to make
That when I look at people, I DO see color…
I see melatonin manifesting in various shades of browns, tans and even buttermilk
Some like coffee beans or toffee, others like caramel or candied yams
Others like peaches and cream
Creating the backdrop of each individual canvas
That was imagined in the heart of the Creator before the very foundations of the earth
And then He began to put together each masterpiece
Just like a collage
A stroke of a brush here
Affixing a shape there
Forming straight, curly, wavy and different hues and textures of hair
And now we have cheek bones high and low
People of every nation uniquely created in His image to show
That we are all wonderful works of art adored by the One
Who is perfected beauty
Eye gates taking shape of almonds, or enchanted with slants
Or circles of brightness, cloaked in innocence or piercing the soul of another
Blue, brown, hazel, green, gray or even a mixture of colors
And whether we know it or not
We were all meant to be sisters and brothers
Big, little, medium, flat and pointed noses
Matters not because we can all still smell the roses
Lips whether thin or full designed to give holy kisses
Speaking in native tongues to spread the gospel around the world
But all can receive a heavenly language while the Holy Spirit intercedes
On our behalf
We all come from the Heavenly Father so we are all the same
But the way He uniquely made us in His image should not bring us shame
And it is not to blame for our human frailty
So let’s celebrate our differences and not ignore them
Appreciate the artistry of God and adore them
The shape of your ears
Does not determine whether or not you can hear
The voice of the Lord
The sound of your voice is not your choice
We are not happenstance
We are all on purpose designed with a purpose
To embrace the narrow ways of the Kingdom culture
To be reconciled back to Him
So yes even though you are my sister you are my brother
I do see your color
And it’s beautiful.
It has become very common for people to make the statement, “I don’t see color.” While I understand the sentiment and intent, I have a different take on race as you can probably see now from my poem. I don’t believe in ignoring differences, I believe in celebrating them. If God wanted us all to be the same then do you think He would have allowed the different ethnicities? Not likely. True enough, our race should NEVER determine our identity because that is found in Christ. All who accept Jesus as lord and savior become citizens of the Kingdom, as well as brothers and sisters. The essence of who each of us is individually is found in our divine purpose. But what I want to stress is that I also do not believe that race and ethnicity are insignificant. I believe wholeheartedly that there is a purpose for it and that we should not minimize a characteristic that has been God-ordained.
One of my absolute favorite places to go here in Atlanta is the Dekalb Farmer’s Market. The majority of the clientele are foreigners from all over the world. There is even a flag of every nation that hangs from the market ceiling. I LOVE seeing the different facial features and skin tones. Hearing the different accents and native tongues is like music to my ears. Maybe it is just the artist in me or the fact that I have traveled abroad that makes me feel this way. Sometimes there are people whom I can’t quite tell their nationality or ethnicity, so I play the guessing game. I’ve even been bold enough to approach such individuals and inquire of them about their nationality. A nice conversation almost always results and I learn something new.
Unfortunately, due to history and human frailty, the very concept of race in this country has become a bad thing. Identifying the race of people has now become negative. What a shame… So because pop culture desires a “post-racial” society, many folks say that they don’t see “color.” I guess people feel that this is the best means to put an end to racism and stereotypes. Personally, I think it is an easy way out of not addressing our own issues surrounding race. I have matured in my walk with the Lord where I can say that I am a man of God first and foremost, and that takes precedence over my ethnicity. However, it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t appreciate the fact that I’m a Black American man. I should be proud of the skin I’m in. I should be proud of my full lips, my brown eyes and other physical features I possess. Every person on the planet should be proud of who they are because we are all made in His image; each in our own unique way.
Revelation 7:9-10 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (NKJV)
God in His magnificent splendor is the original artist that always has been. As I said in my poem, we are all beautiful works of art. We are all original master pieces that He envisioned before time ever existed. I’m not going to ignore His works of art. I choose to see colors because they represent the diverse, endless creativity of the Heavenly Father. I choose to celebrate. I can only imagine the day when we are the great multitude in Revelations 7 worshipping like never before. Colors blended into one that is eternal and represents a beauty that we have yet to see. Amen.
Nathan Allen Copyright© 2012
April 9, 2012 at 9:56 am
Very good, Nation! I love this poem and what you had to say at the end!! I also always wonder why people try to be so politically correct and not even acknowledge differences? We are even afraid to even say, “black, african-american, caucasion, white, latino or hispanic etc” because even the words can offend someone. But even children acknowledge differences in an innocent way- so it’s possible to notice and acknowledge and be innocent! They notice differences between men and women and differences in skin tone, speech, weight, height and other features. And they often comment on them loudly! I think it’s good to teach children that God made each person unique because it pleased Him to do so! And it’s good that there are different cultures and traits and talents and it makes life interesting. And God loves us all and we all have different things to offer the world! When we first moved to Georgia (My family is originally from New York) we were happy to discover the Farmer’s Market and we used to take a trip down there every now and then to eat and enjoy the different food options and the people.
In New Jersey in the 80/90’s we celebrated all the holidays of the kids in school. We used to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali and Chinese New Year etc. and the kids would tell the class what their families do and the parents would participate and bring in food and crafts for the class. But now we’re not allowed to have any holidays- we only have winter parties in school and keep saying everyone is the same and equal- which really means we’ve chosen to strip everyone of their cultures equally when we’re in public.
But at least we still have fun culture festivals throughout the year! Down here there is Atlanta Greek Festival, the National Black Arts Festival, Fiesta Atlanta, JapanFest, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival etc. and I’m sure many others. Still lots of people/culture/food/art to celebrate and enjoy around here!
Regina Johnson Parks
April 9, 2012 at 10:28 pm
This is beautiful Bro. Nathan. You say is best when we look at people we do see color, shapes, sizes, hair textures, eye color, and everything that makes me/us different from eachother. This is not saying that I think that I am better just acknowledging the differences. I sometimes will stop someone wherever I just happen to be located, in a grocery store, coming out of a clothing or department store, doctor’s office, etc. compliment strangers that I see on how pretty or handsome they look. Most give a happy smile and a thank you. I have not met anyone who doesn’t appreciate a compliment as it makes their day. I pass on to others what I would want someone to do unto me. Lovingkindness whether it be a genuine smile or good morning how are you? Allowing people to be who they are is self-esteem. No need to tear them down because of differences, lift them up because he or she is a child of God and my brother or sister. Our purpose and goal is to build God’s kingdom, and to be holy because He is holy. I love the reference you used in Revelations 7 as it speaks truth. We all will be clothed in white apparel and our differences because we will look like Jesus in the spiritual realm. Praising Him all day!! What a magnificent and awesome wonder to behold.
April 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm
Simply Beautiful, ellegant, and full of love. My prayer is that all Nations see color as you do. Blessings to you…