Read His Words Before Ours!
“Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
This sweet little Sunday School song was something I grew up singing. It’s a beautifully simplistic view of God’s design for His people.
He loves all man-kind.
No one unlovable.
We are all deeply and passionately loved by Him.
Similarly, the Psalmist pens these glorious lyrics:
“May God be gracious to us and bless us…that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.”
The Lord desires the free gift of salvation to be received by all.
A natural response to receiving the gift of salvation; praise.
“May the peoples praise you oh God; may all the peoples praise you.”
Not only does God long to be reconciled with everyone,
He longs to hear us praise Him collectively.
As humans, we have plenty of trouble loving people,
particularly those who don’t look quite like us.
This is something I’m guilty of as well.
It’s much more comfortable for me to walk up to someone who looks more similar to myself ethnically than someone that I might have very little in common with outwardly.
My husband is Korean, born in Korea and has lived in the States for 5 years this fall. We have two biracial children, one born in Korea, one born in the States.
For as much as we stay on top of racial issues in our family,
can I be real for a moment too?
Last week, I was returning my cart at Aldi, and I specifically did not offer it to the black lady that was walking towards the carts.
I always offer my cart to the next person and that day, I didn’t offer it.
I got in my car and cried, wishing I could go back and at least make eye contact.
Sadly, I couldn’t.
Having married outside my race, I observe people and situations with a different lens than before. I’ve noticed that when a new person meets my husband Joonseok and I, more often than not, they will not hold eye contact with my hubby. They will look to me as the leader of the conversation and start talking to me first. When Joonseok is out with the kids, they are often ignored. Nobody tries to make unnecessary conversation, nobody looks at them, in fact it’s as though people often look through them not even noticing them at all. Those subtle undertones are taxing for people outside of the ethnic majority to interact with on a daily basis.
Our family’s ethnic design has really pushed me to find ways for my children to use their “white privilege” for someone else’s benefit. In a group of other white children, I want my kids to be prepared to stand up for people teasing another child. We role-play these situations. We read books with girls in hijabs being made fun of, children of color feeling left out, or the Asian kids being mocked for their smelly foods.
Our favorite place to come back to in regard to racial teachings is the Great Commission. The disciples have just witnessed Jesus being crucified, buried, resurrected and walking among them in the flesh.
The emotions, questions and musings must’ve been plentiful!
Moments before Jesus would physically leave them, He declared His authority and then commissioned his disciples,
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
There’s no mistaking that, as believers, we are to share the love of the Father with all people, whether they look like us or not. Having these conversations with our kids isn’t fun or really all that easy.
The cost of not having them, and sweeping the issue under the rug, is just too high.
One of the easiest ways to start being intentional with people outside your ethnicity is to pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to move in your heart about making genuine relationships with people you don’t naturally gravitate toward. It’s easy to view this as a project instead of a friendship, but just do normal, everyday life together – go for coffee or share a meal.
Our family partners with a local ministry that loves on international students. This sub-group of college students are ready to experience all that Americans are doing. Since our faith, intentionality and love flow from our family-life, it’s natural to have students along to share in that. The Lord has literally brought the Nations to us in this ministry! It also provides the exposure of “weird foods”, people speaking different languages and unusual customs to our kids. Whatever you choose to do, I’m confident that Lord will bless both you and your new friends for intentionally choosing love over fear!
That situation with the shopping cart in the Aldi parking lot was a great reminder to be on guard for the little places the enemy is whispering lies.
I’m ready to fight those out of my heart, will you join me?
Lord, let my eyes see people as You do, created in Your perfect image. Give us a taste of the River of Life and the healing that will come to all nations. Embolden me to stand on the side of loving people, even when it’s not popular. For Your Glory, Lord.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!