I remain flabbergasted by the fact that race determines so much of our lives, that we have given it so much meaning, that we have given it so much of our meaning. The social coloring of skin tells us who we are, what we can do and what we mean. But, not only that. Race tells us who others are, what they can do and what they mean to our lives and in society. Race is the supreme reference for our humanity.
We allow our flesh quite literally to tell us what to do, what to see and believe. We are guided by what we can see though as Christians, we confess that we “walk by faith, not by sight” (Second Corinthians 5.7). Why is that? Why is it that we are bossed around by the social coloring of skin? Why does race determine what we feel and how we feel and if we have any feeling at all?
Who gave race such power and why does it continue to have such power over us? Why do I have to listen to race? Is there not a wisdom, an insight deeper than my flesh? I have nothing but questions about race. I don’t know why we accept race at face value. When and why we have given the flesh such value? Do you?
We did not creator the ‘color’ of skin as it were. So, how do we know what it means or what it’s worth? God not only holds the paintbrush but created it. How can we then poke people with it? Raise and lower, center and marginalize, welcome and bar others because of it?
We do not and will not ever hold the brush. We do not own the brush and cannot buy it. We cannot recreate it.
God not only created the subject but based on God’s vision and imagination, chose the colors from the palette for how you and I would appear in the world. We did not choose the color. We neither created nor own stock in the color, no matter how many social privileges we possess or the length of our history.
We are not the painter but the subject. We are not the creator of humanity or of color. Our duty is only to pose, to stand still and wait until God is finished touching us.