I’ve read those posts on how the answer to racial division isn’t being color-blind. To be honest, they kind of felt, well, persnickety. Like the writer was using semantics to pick others apart.

After all, I didn’t doubt the sincerity of people who called themselves color-blind. I’d even used the term to describe myself a few times. To me, it meant I liked you for you – not what color your skin was.

However, today, I did an interview with two pastors who are bringing their congregations together for a combined worship service, and it changed my view. I no longer want to be color blind.


One pastor is white and the other one is black. One’s congregation is primarily white, and the others is primarily black. One’s congregation lives in a more affluent area, and the others congregation lives in what could be termed “inner city.”

Interestingly, both pastors said that their congregants are very excited about the coming service, and they have enjoyed the opportunity to meet and serve with new people.

So, what is the bridge between these two seemingly very different congregations – congregations that in the course of a day probably wouldn’t overlap much, if at all?


Friends Meeting And Enjoying Coffee And Cookies

See, these two pastors are the best of friends. They regularly get together, pray together and encourage each other in the hard work of ministry.

And what makes their friendship work? It’s not ignoring the differences between them and letting the obvious difference in their skin colors (and the accompanying baggage that comes with that) remain unspoken.

While they both said that their common goals – reaching the community with the love of God – is one of the foundations of their friendships, they also shared that they had the hard conversations.

Only in a true friendship do you have the trust to have those hard conversations – conversations that include things like race. 

Race is often the elephant in the room. We’re all aware of it, but in order to address it, we have to cross the vast no man’s land to the other side of the room. So, instead, we hug the edges of the room, staying on our side so as not to disturb the elephant – or the status quo.


But here’s the deal – as uncomfortable and hard as it can be to talk about race and to acknowledge the issues, without really seeing someone we can’t have true relationship.

Because real relationship means truly seeing the other person. When we claim color-blindness, we aren’t seeing the other person in all their nuance and complexity.

Yes, I realize that when most poeple use the word color blind, they mean they don’t allow race to influence their judgment of other people. I respect that, and agree with that. The Scripture is pretty clear that we aren’t supposed to allow someone’s outsides influence our perception of their worth.

But let’s be really honest – nobody is truly color blind. It’s not as if we don’t notice or take note of another person’s skin color or ethnicity.

Hopefully, we don’t allow a person’s race or ethnicity to influence our perception of someone’s worth as a person, but to say we are color blind is to leave out a big part of a person’s identity and history. Those are things, while they may not make someone’s complete identity, that have certainly contributed to the formation of who that person is today.

Racial unity among believers has been something that has weighed heavily on my heart for a while now. Often, it feels like wishful dreaming or a naive hope that believers, no matter how different, can come together in unity.

But yesterday, during that interview, I learned a simple, yet profound, truth. Racial unity starts and ends with me and with you. It means stepping outside our comfort bubble and engaging in relationship with people who are different than we are, and instead of ignoring the differences, to embrace them.

It’s human nature to stay huddled together with people just like you, but in doing so, we miss so much of the richness of relationship that is inherent in the Christian life.

So, that means I don’t want to be color blind. Instead, I want to truly see people – see them as God’s workmanship, His crowning creation whom He loves beyond my human comprehension.

I want to listen, to truly hear the other person’s story – even if it makes me uncomfortable or challenges me.

Because God has called me to love, and to truly love I have to see the whole person, not just the politically correct parts of the whole.

As one of the pastors so eloquently put it, “Unity is not something you do; it is something you be.” To paraphrase Gandhi, “Let’s be the unity we want to see.”

Blessings, Rosanne


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