Life itself has no color; skin does. Diversity can only be appreciated where there is unity rather than division.
What Gives Us Life
The account of Creation given to us in Genesis tells how God formed the first man in His own image, but life didn’t enter the man’s body until God breathed into him. It was this act of giving the man a spirit that made him alive. That spirit was literally the breath of God.
7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.Genesis 2 [ESV]
This is what gives us life. And so, the insistence by some to assign color to lives is a narrow view based on an outward appearance. But that which gives us life – our spirit, or breath – has no color. There is no such thing as a black life, white life, or whatever. There is only life, and all lives are attained through the spirit or breath of God.
Crown Jewel of Creation
While life itself is colorless, God saw fit (in His infinite wisdom) to create within humankind the capacity to display outwardly a variety of colors. Why would He do this? Think about it. God had created everything else – stars, planets, trees, flowers, animals – all displaying a wide array of beautiful colors. So when He finally made the crown jewel of His creation, mankind, why would He make us any less glorious? And we’re made in God’s image, so His splendor should manifest in us in a variety of ways – including color.
If you think of mankind as the jewel that it truly is supposed to be, you begin to understand the analogy between humans and rare gemstones. Diamonds, for example, are cut in such a way that light is reflected and refracted by the many different facets or sides. This is what makes it sparkle and appear to shine colorfully in the light. We are also made to shine differently as individuals with different colors and talents, and this is beautiful in the eyes of our Creator.
The Pigmentation Principle
Did you know that all humans possess the same pigment in their skin? It’s called melanin. The type and amount of this pigment in a person’s skin, eyes, and hair is what determines the shade or coloring displayed. So the more melanin in someone’s skin, for example, the darker complexion that person has. Lighter-skinned people have less melanin. But we all have the same pigment, just in varying amounts.
This is God’s design for diversity. One color alone would have been bland and boring, but many colors together is quite beautiful to behold. The key word there is “together.” Separated into this group and that group, the glorious beauty of diversity is lost. So why are some of us so determined to be divided into different groups?
The Race Delusion
For thousands of years, we have come up with excuses to divide ourselves into different classes of people. Some early civilizations had cast systems which divided people into groups according to factors like education, work skills, nobility, etc. There were certain tribes of peoples in biblical times that were considered unclean or lower class. This type of thinking permeated many cultures throughout history and often resulted in violence, slavery, and murder.
Why would anyone hold on to such a backward and uneducated notion today? One reason is the false idea that there are many races of human beings. People tend to divide themselves into groups with others who look like them. But this outward appearance is all about the color of people’s skin. The very thing that makes us beautiful together as a whole is what is being used to separate us. But this isn’t really a race issue, rather it is a race delusion. We’ve allowed ourselves to think of each other as black people, white people, brown people, and so on – but these aren’t different races, just various colors. We are all ONE RACE – Human. We are the same. Skin color doesn’t make us different – it makes us beautiful. It adds variety, which is the “spice of life.”
In The End
Though the fires of division still burn among us today, there will come a time when all people of all nations, colors, and walks of life will finally come together as ONE again – just as God planned from the beginning. We will stand united, hand in hand, and give praise to our Creator with one voice.
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”Revelation 7 [ESV]
Until that day, we should strive to be what God designed us to be… ONE race of people, human beings joined in unity, diverse but not divided, bound by love for one another. May it be so.