Take a moment to stop, pause and notice those you haven’t ever taken the time to really see before.
What this looks like for me:
I didn’t know how much I wasn’t noticing until I actually began to notice.
I guess I should explain: for a long time, I didn’t think issues of race had anything to do with me, mostly because I was white. I called myself colorblind, because that’s what my teachers and pastors taught me to do, so when it came to engaging in justice and activism, I scoffed at the very notion of the idea.
I was a real Christian—a real Christian who knew and understood that Jesus came to change us from the inside out. I called him Savior and I called him Lord. I sang songs about the baby king from Jerusalem who somehow changed it all, and I raised my fists in the air when the God-man died and rose from the dead three days later.
But I didn’t stake claim to the dark-skinned rabble-rouser who said that the Spirit was upon him, who reminded the people how he had been sent to proclaim good news to the poor and freedom for the prisoners, who offered to give sight to the blind and set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18). In a way, it’s like I didn’t fully believe in who Jesus said he was because I didn’t seem to fit into any of those categories.
But then, I did fit into one of these categories, because I was the blindest of all.
After all, it was the power of love helped me see color—and when that happened, my whole life changed. Not only did I begin to realize that issues of justice, race and privilege did have something to do with me, but I began to notice what (and who) my blindness had prevented me from seeing all along.
Not noticing is then perhaps one of the greatest privileges, but I also think it’s one of the greatest tragedies. Because when we don’t notice who’s not sitting at our table, who’s not filling our social media feeds and who’s not influencing the way we think and act and operate in this world, then we’re left unchanged, stagnant by archaic belief systems that seek to elevate a single perspective over everything and everyone else.
But when we notice the beauty in the faces of the world around us, we are left changed by the simple profundity of diversity.
And when this happens, then we see the color of life.
CARA MEREDITH is a spiritual writer, speaker and sought-after conversationalist. A former high school English teacher and non-profit outreach director, her writing has appeared in numerous print and online publications. The Color of Life, a spiritual memoir about her journey as a white woman into issues of justice, race, and privilege, recently released. She holds a Masters of Theology from Fuller Seminary and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. You can connect with her on her website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.