The only Michael W. Smith album I’ve ever owned was his 1992 offering: Change Your World. I’m pretty sure I was able to get the CD from the Columbia House CD Club (or the Christian version).
The album has a song called “Color Blind.” It is a pretty infectious pop song with a message that resonated with me at the time. In it, Smith points out the ongoing racial struggle in our world and writes: “Cause we could see better, If we could be color blind.”
To my fourteen year old self, those words seemed rather appealing and aspirational. Our world would be better if we saw each other through a color blind lens. We’d stop conflict based on appearances, ethnicities, and so on.
There is a fatal to this kind of thinking.
Seeing the world through a color blind lens prevents us from seeing the diversity and beauty that God has created in the world and in humanity. When we pursue being color blind, we are whitewashing the culture and uniqueness in each person, culture, and ethnicity.
Instead of becoming colorblind, we should seek to see the beauty and the Imago Dei (Image of God) in each person, tribe, and tongue. God has made us unique and diverse. We miss out on so much when we dismiss another culture or person based on the color of their skin. Because of this, we should set aside any sort of ideas that one skin tone is better than another, or that one culture is better than another. We should allow our lives to be enriched by the diverse people and experiences that surround us.
Speaking of surrounding- In Revelation, John has a vision of worship around the throne of God. John writes:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands… (Revelation 7:9)
Surrounding the throne and worshipping God are people of every ethnicity, language, and cultures. If we were colorblind, we would miss out on a colorful, multifaceted celebration of worship around God’s throne. That’s not something I want to miss!
Instead of seeking to be colorblind, let us see the beauty in every color; to allow our lives to be enriched as we learn from people different that us. Let our worship in our churches begin to reflect the worship around the throne in Revelation 7!