If you're colorblind, you can't find God
attitude conform with God's heart?
God is not colorblind. God rejoices in colorful creation, and wraps Himself in rainbows of color. Not only is God not literally colorblind, neither does God blind Himself to the cultures and nations of the people that worship Him. God created a world that would be inhabited by many races and peoples. Color is God's good intention.
In John's vision of heaven, he notices that "there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb" (Revelation 7:9). How would John have known this if they had lost their cultural identities upon entering heaven? John could have simply written about the unity of people praising God. But our cultural identities are important,even in heaven, and John affirms this with his words.
Would we really want to live in a world where we were all the same? Why shouldn't our racial identities be affirmed as part of what shapes us, and how we relate to God?
|All eyes = no good|
I understand the sentiment behind colorblindness. It tries to convey the idea that God loves all of us, which God certainly does. It also tries communicate that God does not judge us by how we look, which God certainly does not. But a colorblindness mentality misses the mark when we pretend that our differences do not exist or do not matter.
And the reality is, no matter how much we say it, we're never actually colorblind anyway. We do see differences between people. We notice when someone's hair is different than our own. We notice when skin is a different shade. The problem isn't in seeing difference. It's in acting negatively toward that difference.
We say we are colorblind, but we lock our car doors only in response to some types of faces. We clutch our purses when certain hues of skin enter the elevator, but not for others. We assume some people are citizens, while presuming others are not.
|Ladies and Gentlemen, |
Modern racism owes its success to our ability to 'turn a blind eye' to the racialized inequalities in front of us. 'Post-racial' racism depends on everyday people harboring prejudices that are too subtle to outright repudiate, but that are strong enough to affect how we select jurors, who we send to jail, to whom we rent property, and who we hire for jobs.
Colorblindness is actually a form of denial. Indeed, there is so much racial disparity in the world, one surely must be blind not to see it. Colorblindness is not the solution. Kerry Washington notes of race "if it’s the only thing you focus on, then it’s a danger, and if you never talk about it then it’s a danger."
A lot of brokenness in our world results from our racial division, but race itself is not the enemy. Our racial identities can help bring one another closer to God. We can rejoice together in the richness of God's creation, and affirm the identities that God gives each of us. We can experience renewed intimacy with our Savior when we experience God in conjunction with the many different kinds of people God loves, and we can discover aspects of God's nature that we would would not have uncovered on our own.
When we learn to love the colors God created, we offer a witness of more holy Christian unity to the world. A unity that does not homogenize, but rather glorifies God through our heterogeneity (not in spite of it). Thus, we bear witness to the colors of heaven arrayed in splendor on earth.