God didn’t make a mistake…

Mom. God did something wrong. He messed up on me because he made me brown, he did not make me white. He needs to go back and fix it so I can be white.

A friend recently posted the quote above on her Facebook page…and my heart just broke right open. She went on to tell about how she responded and how she sought help from someone else within their circle to reinforce her words and help instill pride and understanding into her precious child.

I wanted to write about it then, but it just seemed a bit out of touch for a middle-aged white woman to address such a thing in her blog. I’ve continued to think about it though, and with all that has happened in the last week or so, I know for certain that I was wrong. It needs to be addressed by ALL of us. Not addressing such a thing has led us to where we are right now…and it is beyond unacceptable for us to be where we are. But, honestly, where to start? Where to start?!

I’m so grateful he talked to his mom and didn’t just keep this to himself. This precious child who is strong and smart and handsome knows he can trust his mom with what he thinks. That’s the mark of great parenting and I’m incredibly proud of his mom and the way she walks her walk in the difficult task of raising her boys.

Because she was open enough to share it, I’ve had to think about it. It hasn’t all been comfortable. I’ve had to deliberately think through what I was taught and what I “caught” as I grew up in Mississippi in the 1960s. For the record, that doesn’t always mean what people think it does. Some of the most educated, lovingly inclusive people I’ve ever known come from the same place I do. A person can never be truly known simply by the history, actions and attitudes present in the land of their birth. The same can be said of wherever you come from, too, I suspect, and that’s part of the point of this post. We can’t change the past, but we can certainly do something about today!

Children can often get things wrong simply because they aren’t old enough to understand or don’t hear/know the whole narrative. This child got it wrong because WE as adults haven’t understood the whole narrative, so what has been passed down over the generations has led us to this toxic reality that we share today . With that in mind, I’ll start like this:

  • Oh, sweet child (and adults and everyone in between!), God is never wrong. He is perfect.  “As for God, his way is perfect…” Psalm 18:30 (NIV) 
  • Because He is perfect, we can assume that we are not mistakes. He made us on purpose and He made us ALL different. There is no wrong color and no right color because God apparently likes them all or He would have already stopped making people of all different shades –and height and weight and every other physical characteristic you can name.
  • God made each of us on purpose. Psalm 139 is clear about that. He carefully created us and planned out our lives in order to bless us. That’s really great because it tells us that the things we can’t change about ourselves (our parents, the place we were born, and our genetics–including our skin color!) are things that God chose individually just for us. HE thinks that’s the best way for us to be. Yes, He could have created you differently, but God decided that YOU would best glorify Him by being just the way He made you–and He is never wrong.
  • The things we can change about ourselves (our thoughts, decisions, actions, and attitudes) are the things over which He gives us free will. These are OUR choices so it is up to us to make the most of them so that we can glorify Him and honor those around us as fellow creations of a loving and almighty God.
  • When God’s Word tell us something and the world around us acts like something else, you can take it to the bank:  it is the WORLD that is wrong. People are the problem, not God. That’s always the case whenever there is hate, discrimination, and bigotry–and a whole lot of other ugly words I wish you would never have to learn about first hand.
  • The decision to elevate one skin color (or any other physical trait!) over another is a sin. It isn’t a cultural issue. It isn’t a pride issue. It isn’t “the natural order of things” or any other phrase that’s used by those who practice it. It is sin.
  • The only cure for sin is Jesus. That’s why every single person on the planet needs Him.
  • The only way we can change our society is by accepting Christ and then acting like Him. We need to be “Jesus with skin on”–no matter what color our skin is!!– for everyone we meet. We will still mess up and we will occasionally be wrong in really big ways because we are human, but if we are consistently trying to be like God tells us to be in His Word, then we’ll be way ahead of where we are right now…and our world NEEDS us to be like He tells us to be. It is the only way some of them will ever hear about Him.

Hear me well, please. Wherever you are, whoever you are, or whatever you look like, God loves you! Be proud of who you are! He designed you on purpose for great things–the best of which is to be like His Son. You can only do that if you choose to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and walk out the rest of your days according to His teachings in Scripture. It isn’t always easy, but it is definitely worth it.

Now. How will you choose to walk out and talk out today? Your choices matter…to all of us.

Grace & Peace!

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2 thoughts on “God didn’t make a mistake…

  1. Loved your post. I too have had to review what I learned and “caught” (great way of putting it). I was taught respect for all people, but there were also times I fought prejudice. I won’t get into any of that but let’s just say there were many times I was not proud of the area I lived in. I had several situations that cropped up while I was working, and the one that made me very sad and yet somewhat proud of my courage was regarding a 5 year old African American little boy. He came in with his mother, and she had a major chip on her shoulder. She was not very forthcoming with accurate information. I asked her about work history in part already knowing some truth. She lied to me and I had to confront her about what I had just printed off my computer. She had a very bitter attitude, and I tried to treat her as respectfully as I could even though I couldn’t let the lie go by. Her little boy was standing next to my chair and he said something to the effect of “the white woman is not going to give you anything”. It really didn’t make me mad, but it disappointed me so deeply that a child of 5 was already well indoctrinated in hate and prejudice. I knew I could not really address the mother about it because she was already mad with me, but I couldn’t just sit there. I stopped what I was doing and looked the little boy in the face and said I have to go by rules and it does not matter what race you are or I am. I want you to know that you can do anything in life you want to and that nobody can take that from you. I said some other things and I don’t really remember what they were, but I wanted that little boy to know that he had all the potential anyone could have and if he wanted certain things for his life others could not keep him from getting there. They were poor, and there were times while I didn’t condone the lying I could understand why. I still remember the look on that little boy’s face and it was one of astonishment not anger. I don’t think the child had ever heard anything like that in his life.

    One other thing – I many times was put in the position that I needed to hold a small child in order for the mother to complete paperwork or sign (mountains) of paperwork. Never did I have a child of another race refuse to come to me because of my color. They were loving and receptive to kindness. That should tell all adults something. The state our country is in and the indications of the states of many souls is tragic. Sorry this got so long.

Your words are a gift. Treat them and your fellow readers gently, please.

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