I’m never more aware of my dark skin until I see photos myself with my light skinned children. There is nothing wrong with our skin tones. However, the world we live in full off sin, and wants to make us believe that the color of our skin makes us better or worse than one another. This is not a new concept. The bible has something to say about this. Song of Solomon chapter 1:5-7 reads “I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark….My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!”
This beloved bride to be was undoubtedly confident in who she was in her statement of her beauty. She was made in the image of God. Then her tone changes as she states how she was mistreated because of how she was created. Her skin tone had not made her any more or less than what God has created her to be. If you continue reading, the bridegroom is more than pleased with his beloved!
We can also see a correlation with the people know as the Samaritans. This people group Jews who had intermarried with Assyrians. They had their version of the Torah and their own religious system, and they were different. It made people uncomfortable. They did not talk to the Jewish people of their day and the Jewish people did not talk to them.
Jesus steps into these cultural issues and he changes everything. In John 4:1-25 Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman at the well and tells her who she is IN HIM. Her nationality was not a deterrent, but a mark of a beautifully creative God. He did not challenge her because of what she looked like but drew her closer to himself and to the Father because she was beloved.
African Americans are not LESS or GREATER than anyone else around us. We are marked with the love of our heavenly father just like anyone else, yet we are challenged because people ‘gaze upon our skin because it is dark.’
When we look at someone as less than because of their nationality or ethnicity we raise our fists to our heavenly father and his creation, telling Him he is WRONG. That is sin.
No matter where you come from in this incredible world, know that you have VALUE in the eyes of God. He sees you, and wants to draw you to Himself. When you see someone who looks different than you, know that they too have value and are loved by God. Have a cross cultural conversation, celebrate your differences. Pray for one another. Heaven is going to be a diverse place, and we can start now by building relationships with the people of many cultures around us.
In these final days of Black History month, celebrate a beautiful, indomitable people who are well acquainted with grief, joy and perseverance. We are inventors, doctors, scientist, entertainers, teachers, and preachers. We are created in the image of God. Beloved had it right “I am dark, but lovely.”