Monday, August 29, 2011

the color of beauty in a broken world

all the colors of the rainbow
all the shades of beauty

look around our world..

-from leaves of 100 shades
-flowers in their boldfaced display
-birds from rich brown to shining green-blues
-fruit ripe with too many hues to count
-the multi-layered white, grey, pink, orange, purple golden texture of clouds
-azure to green to clear to dark stormy slate of ocean waters
-the broken beauty of Mary's pastel box

our world is alive with the beauty of color

even our emotions have color...
-feeling blue
-red-faced anger or embarrassment
-tummy-sick green (or maybe envious)

color color, imagined and blessed by God everywhere

in the eyes of my children
in the strands of their hair
in the touch of their skin
God makes beauty everywhere

why would purple not like amber and think chartreuse is better?
why would magenta try to overpower sapphire and look down on aqua?

in our broken world, too often one color tries to break another
and even if it is only once, that is once too often

- - - - - - - -

my little beautiful Chinese princess was introduced to a new concept in school late last year, that had never (before then)crossed her 7- year-old mind.   Now, at eight, it still lingers, whispers its poisonious doubts (am I lovable?)   It is the first place she goes to, when purple is unkind to amber.

Although the beauty of color is something that I wished we all embraced and revelled in, our culture and past history, makes it also imperative that we are color-aware.  That we realize how a word or phrase or even a story well-intended, may be perceived by (obsessed-over, wound the heart of) another.

No, let us not ever be color-blind.  Color blind to all the beauty God has made? Why would we want to be?

Let us be color embracing.  color loving.  color aware.

My little first grader came home one day and said "Johnny (named changed to protect the hopefully innocent) was mean to me on the playground.  He did this because light-skinned people do not like dark-skinned people." (tell that to all the tanning-booth mavens)

I was surprised of her deduction on Johnny's behavior.  Did he say this? 
what makes you think this?
We heard a story about a little dark-skinned girl (Rosie Parks) who was treated badly by the light-skinned people because of her skin.  It's true mom,  all light-skinned people don't like dark-skinned people.

I do not know how the story was presented.  I do not know the sensitivity involved.  The encasing of a sad story in the true view of the beauty and celebration of what God himself imagined... 
I do not know this.  
But I was mad. 

This concept of prejudice introduced to my daughter in a way that has struck her mind. 
I should have prepared her for this.
I thought I still had time.

That day, and many following...I tried to take the lie of "all" and set it straight as "some".   She doesn't seem to really believe me though, like when I say going to bed early is good for her.   She won't say it, but she doesn't buy it.

Time and time again, since then, when an offense happens, she goes back to the Rosie Parks story as the reason. 

And my heart aches.

My heart aches that in some hearts this is true.  That is the reason.  (In the Johnny case, it was not...but I know my daughter WILL encounter true prejudice based on skin-color and the beautiful almond shape of her eyes.)

I have often thought and struggled with a country's history, and how it shadows over descendants that had no part in that history.  Our broken world has fissures from polar cap to polar cap with horrendous shameful, beyond-cruel acts done in the motivation of prejudice.  I cringe. I cry.  I ache.

I ache over America's history. The ignorance and spitting in the face of God that is our history of acts due to prejudice.   I saw the movie The Help this weekend and cried and cried and still ache. 

How to help my children see the color of beauty in a broken world?  To not buy into the enemy lies as truth, but to see the delight in the imagination of God that made the beauty of color and called it good, blessed. 

"And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation....

...After this I looked, and 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. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands."

Rev 5:9, 7:9

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