Back in 2016, myself, my children, and some of my amazing friends helped host a day camp for children in the Oklahoma City area. After lots of running and lunch, I sat next to a 4th grade African American boy as we worked on a color sheet. We had the exact same paper. I began to color the hair of the girl in the picture and he consistently commented on how great my coloring was. I thanked him and we started talking about school and his siblings.
I, without thinking grabbed a dark brown crayon and started coloring the girl’s skin. Without skipping a beat, the little boy asked me why I would use that ugly brown color because my real skin was so nice and white. I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or hug him more in that moment.
Thankfully. mommy mode kicked in and my mouth couldn’t get the truth out fast enough. I assured him he had beautiful skin and that he should be proud to be the color he is just like I am proud to be the color I am, the color Jesus made both of us.
He changed the subject and minutes later he picked up the same brown crayon and began coloring the skin of the little girl on the paper. He mentioned to himself under his breath, “this color isn’t so bad after all”.
Words are powerful. Love is just as easy as hate. I believe value was reinstated in that beautiful little boy. Love for himself re-established. It is nice to be reminded we don’t have to fear our differences but if we value them, we can make something much more beautiful together.