Friday, February 26, 2010

#60 Dots and Circles

Acts 10:34, 35 Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him."

It is estimated that nearly 7% of the American male population is colorblind. Growing up I never knew this. It was not until I went to enlist in the military and took a test for "normal color perception" (NCP) and almost failed it that I began to learn about this fact.

I think the test would hurt most people's eyes to tell the truth. They show you a series of circles with varying colored backgrounds. Inside those circles are numbers made up of dots in different colors. They simply ask you to read the number that you see in the circle. Sounds easy enough right? I suppose it is for the other 97% of men out there, but I really had to take my time and focus intently to see the numbers and even at that they did not always jump right out for me. Had I missed two more when I took the test they would have failed me.

To fail the NCP test does not mean the military won't take you. It just means that they will limit the jobs you can do. My job as a chaplain assistant happened to one of those jobs you can be color blind and still do. I think being a cook was one of the other ones. As I look back on the fact that chaplains and chaplain assistants do not have to have normal color perception I find it to be pretty cool.

Think about it for a minute with me. A chaplain and their assistant form a Unit Ministry Team (UMT). Their jobs are to provide spiritual support for all Soldiers, their families, and any other Department of Defense (DOD) personnel that may have needs. In order to do that you cannot judge people or refuse to help them. It does not matter what their rank, religion, skin color, or gender is; all people are to get equal treatment. Yes, UMT members are able to practice their particular religious beliefs but others can not be denied help if they happen to have a different belief system.

I am out of the Army now and of course I do not believe all religions or so-called religious practices lead to God. The Bible is very specific about God's will for our lives. I am a Christian and more specifically a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, and I fully believe that I am following God's will to be such. However, I believe that God allows and wants people of all backgrounds, races, and creeds to come to Him and seek His will for their lives too. God does not favor one group or race over another. He used a vision about unclean meats to teach Peter this lesson in Acts 10. In essence, I think we could say that God is spiritually color blind. He loves all people equally. He sent His Son to die that all humanity might be redeemed if they choose to follow Christ.

My mind has been going over these thoughts these past few weeks as I have thought about Black History Month. Our nation has a sad history of slavery and human injustice. Perhaps equally sad is that even though we have an African-American president, this country is still not over racism. Yes, racism exists on all sides of the color spectrum. How I wish that we were all colorblind when it comes to seeing skin color.

As Christians I think we must decide to become colorblind. I have a hard time believing that heaven or the new earth will be segregated by color. We should start living like we're ready for heaven now. I am glad that our country takes the time to celebrate the achievements of Black Americans. We should applaud all who who overcome hardship and injustice, but I also hope that sooner rather than later we as Christians and Americans will let go of the issue of race. Why? Because Jesus is coming soon and when we are gathered to Him in the clouds of glory we will go as a rainbow of mixed skin tones.

My challenge to each of you today is to live your life without the boundaries of skin color. Christ died for all so we should strive to love all. This is not always easy but the Lord will give us help in this and all other aspects of our spiritual walk.

Dear Lord,
We thank You for making us so diverse. We thank You for sending Jesus to die for all people. Please forgive us if there have been racially divisive thoughts in our hearts. Please teach us to see people as You see them. Please teach us to be colorblind when it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ just like you did for Peter long ago. Please come soon Lord that we might be in heaven with You. These things we pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment