I had a conversation recently with an older relative who, to say the least, does not share our family’s enthusiasm for building our family and adding a little color to the mix. He grew up in a completely different culture–as a young adult in the deep south, middle-aged during the Civil Rights Movement, he was not taught either principally or practically that all are created in the image of God.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve heard quite racist rants, nor am I one to hold back my own opinions and outright challenge with Biblical truth the wrong of which he speaks. However, this conversation struck me anew and opened my eyes in a way that I have not yet experienced. My own children, whom I am desperate to bring home, have a different skin color than I. I wear the invisible-privilege of being white and in the South, to look different unfortunately sometimes brings assumptions undeserved. It hurt me for my children that they would one day hear (though we’ll be careful this won’t be from the mouth of a relative) assumptions about them because of the color of their skin. My prayer is that these children will be rooted in Truth that they are created in the image of God–beloved children and uniquely gifted for a role in His perfect plan….but that conversation sparked something else in me…
How often to I discount myself from prejudice simply because I believe I am “past” the racial assumptions of some? I was challenged to realize the ways in which I hold prejudices against so many of my fellow man–usually this is in the form of making generalizations about “they” and grouping folks together into some box in my mind that allows me to feel self-righteous/self-pity when truly, they are uniquely gifted, uniquely created, and dearly beloved children of the Creator.
Can we examine ourselves (Psalm 51) and see the ways we fail to see our fellow man as being created in the image of God? Can we challenge ourselves, as John 13:34 says, to take to heart and practice: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”