While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he … cried out … “Lord, do not hold this sin against them. Do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died. And Saul approved of their killing him. (Acts 7: 59 NRSV)
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made.
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
(South Pacific, Oscar Hammerstein)
I saw on television news recently a story of two little boys—kindergartners—who got their hair cut alike because they are best friends. They wanted their hair to be alike so that their teacher couldn’t tell them apart.
Now, you say, “Why did that make TV news?”
The TV story showed them together, talking and laughing at school, and the story became very clear.
One little boy was black and the other was white!
I still have to wipe away a tear or two when I think about these boys. “Out of the mouths of babes,” as the saying goes.
They were, in a way, color blind. They did not see color; they only saw a friend!
What a different world this place would be if we didn’t see color (or race, or religion, or East or West, or North or South)! What if we only saw our fellow humans?
I had hoped that we had grown past such prejudices, that we could see people as people, with their own hopes and dreams and plans and efforts. Granted, there are good folks and bad folks of every color. However, it behooves us to get to know the person, rather than judge their color, or, for that matter, their religion, their creed, their politics, their dreams.
May it be so!