Wild curls from mid-summer humidity. Dirt on my sandals from the playground and a cherry Kool-Aid stain on my dress. I was in my element in my preschool class at church.
Mrs. Weaver, her straight brown and gray hair pulled into its usual neat bun, gathered us around her. “Okay, children. Let’s sing that new song we learned last week. Remember?”
She and her assistant, Mrs. Hinton, sang it through once to refresh our memories. “Ready now?” she said. “Let’s sing.”
With varying degrees of vocal gifts and gusto, our little class sang,
“Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
That song runs like a soundtrack through many of my earliest memories. A simple concept that’s timeless, ageless, true.
Here on Glimsen, I write about beauty in nature, the arts, and the unexpected. And, today, in people.
I believe that the beauty around us isn’t random or coincidental. I believe that beauty points beyond itself to a Creator, to God.
One place where we find beauty that points to God is in people. The Bible says that God created humans in His image. Whatever beauty there is in us came from His image.
Contrary to what some people espoused in Charlottesville last weekend—and that countless others have espoused elsewhere, all over the world, throughout history—there is no superior race. There is only the human race.
And every member of the human race has intrinsic worth. Not because of skin color, or education, status, class, giftedness, or money. But because of whose image we bear.
After God made man and woman, the Bible says he saw that his creation was very good.
Humanity was His masterpiece.
God’s image is perfect: good, beautiful, and true.
But his image in us is marred by sin, by hatred, murder, violence, rage, oppression, bitterness, lying, envy, slander. Things like this make it harder to see his image in other people and in ourselves.
Another of those sins is racism. Racism is ugly, dangerous, and frightening. It’s wrong. And it’s antithetical to Jesus’ teachings.
During his three years of ministry, Jesus gave two commands: Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). Pretty much everything else He said can be tied to these two categories.
Is it easy to love people? It's easy to say we do, but if we're honest, it's hard to actually do it.
Yet over and over in the Bible, God says if we love Him, we will keep His commands. And He has commanded us to love our neighbors.
Even if they are different from us. Even if they look, act, and speak differently. Even though they are imperfect, flawed, sinful, like us. Like me.
His image-bearers--all of us. Precious in His sight. And somehow worth the life of his Son, Jesus, who came to set us free from the sin that mars our hearts and our lives.
All photos courtesy of Unsplash.