Have you ever been the new guy? When I transferred to Harney Elementary between semesters in my first grade year, I had to say goodbye to all my old friends and try to fit in to a new group. It was challenging, especially for someone like me who doesn’t make friends easily. I was “assigned” a friend by the teacher to help me out and show me the ropes at the new place, but it wasn’t the same. I did feel very much alone. Along the way, I did make some new friends, at least people I could sit with at lunch, but have always felt like the outsider.
And then about six years later, I converted to Christianity. Not that my parents weren’t Christians, but I took more time just because I was terrified of being drowned in baptism. Luckily, I made it. But something else was “wrong”. I wasn’t the same person. Oh I had the same body, the same eyes, still wore glasses and my clothes still fit, but my person was changed. it took time for that change to take effect, as I was only 12 and I wasn’t finished growing up yet, but began to see the world differently. Church started to make more sense. I became acutely aware of my sins and sinful desires.
You see, being a new person had nothing to do with the color of my skin, but the change in my heart. I intentionally chose the image above to make this point. We have brothers and sisters in Christ whose skin color doesn’t match our own. But it isn’t about the skin. It’s about the heart. When the heart has been changed, when we become that new person, we are brothers all the same.
I guess that’s all the point I have today. Just wanted to share that with you.
Lord, help me see past the skin, past the eyes and the cloak of racism that many are trying to cover us all with. Help me as a Christian to see others as You see them, for you do not look upon the outer man, but upon the heart. Help me hear the heart of my brothers and sisters. In Your Name I pray, Amen.