Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Biblical Womanhood series. Be sure to check out the rest of the series here.
Last month People Magazine announced that the most beautiful woman in 2014, is a woman of color. This isn’t the first time this has happened, but as I listened to the news reportings on this, Lupita Nyong’o shared that her journey along the way wasn’t easy. During a benefit speech she admitted as a child, she desired to not be black saying, “my one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned.”
Wow. She carried shame because of her skin color. This struck a chord in me, and frankly it always has. For some reason, as of lately my mind continues to think on those who have been outcast by the Church, whether recently or throughout history. I’m finding myself staring more as I’m out shopping, driving, or walking. Staring at people (I know, it’s weird). But I’ve been spending those staring moments captivated, awestruck by the beauty in humanity.
Over 6 billion people walk on this planet, not one of them the same. Each person, uniquely designed by the greatest Artist of all. A beautiful masterpiece of our Imago Dei – God’s very own image. Do you realize this? Pieces of God’s face, walk by us, look at us, smile at us everyday. Yes, different colors of skin, different shapes of noses, different sizes of eyes. His image is all around us yet we continue to find fault in ourselves and each other. Why?
Each person, uniquely designed by the greatest Artist of all. A beautiful masterpiece of our Imago Dei – God’s very own image. Do you realize this?
In that same newscast, they conducted an experiment where they had 3 different dolls: a white doll, a light brown doll, and a dark brown doll. They had about 10 girls (8-10ish years old) sit around a table, each one at a time, and they asked which doll was the most beautiful. Time after time after time, the girls chose the white doll. One black girl chose the black doll saying “I choose her because she looks most like ME!” You go, girl Lupita is a grown woman, admitting as a younger self she wished she could’ve worn a different coat – have we changed at all? What is beauty, true beauty? Is it to be thin? To wear make up? To NOT wear make up? To be toned? To be white?
I’m grateful we’ve come a long way for civil rights, Roe vs. Wade, but it’s obvious we have a long way to go. I’m not going to pretend I know what it’s like to be prejudiced against, even within my own church, but I know something’s not right and needs to change.
If we proclaim we love and follow Christ with sincerest devotion, then most of us would admit we have a strong reverence for Him – revering and in awe of who He is. And if it’s true that men and women are made in God’s own image, shouldn’t that stir in us an affection and reverence for humanity?
As much as you fall in love with the Father, you ought also to fall in love with His creation – namely, each other.
I’m telling you, people, as much as you fall in love with the Father, you ought also to fall in love with His creation – namely, each other. It breaks my heart to see the literal and proverbial Church doors closing. Shutting out people of different color, gender, social class, etc. “Sorry you can’t come in here, the message being preached today is only for the white and wealthy…”
Let me shoot you straight. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we serve the God of the universe who has chosen to reveal Himself to us through the faces of each person we encounter during our day, regardless of color, shape, or even how many holes are in their skin. Do we see each other like that? Are we in awe of each other, reverenced by God through humanity? Are we kind to ourselves and each other? Do we have compassion? Do we show love? Take some time and look around, find pleasure and beauty in those around you. Just don’t let them catch you staring.
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Image Credit: Paolo Neoz, Creative Commons