My father was color-blind. Everything in the world appeared to him in various shades of gray, except for one color. Red. His whole life was spent seeing the world like a weird noir comic strip or old black and white movie with splashes of red ink or red colorized film. He learned to adapt– to memorize color patterns for signs and traffic lights; to guess at colors based on past experience (roses that weren’t red or white were likely to be pink or yellow); to trick people into telling him the color of an object–but I always felt sad to know that he was missing out on so much beauty. He had a marvelous eye for patterns and probably could have been a great artist or art critic…if only.
So it always bothers me when people use the term “color-blind” to refer to themselves in relation to bigotry, racism, and loving (or not loving) fellow human beings. Being “color-blind” is not a desirable thing; it is not a Godly thing. God created colors, and skin tones, and genetic codes that shape similarities and differences across the human race– the single and uniformly fallen and redeemed human race. He blessed the world with variety and beauty, and He gave us eyes to see it and appreciate it– to be color-blind is to miss out on that, and to belittle and disregard God’s gifts. There is no segregation in Heaven– no “white” God or “black” God or “red” or “yellow” God– no separation of people groups or subsets of nationalities, languages, denominations, or cultures. Everyone is precious and unique in God’s eyes– every one loved with an everlasting and boundless love. God doesn’t want a world of gray, two-dimensional, interchangeable followers. He wants a vibrant, dynamic, beautiful bride.
What we need are fewer Christians who claim (disingenuously) to be color-blind, and more color-rich Christians– Christ followers who encourage and appreciate one another, pushing each other to love and good works.
If we were all color-blind, there would be one stark image that would never leave our vision– each follower of Christ would stand out in sharp contrast with the rest of the gray world, as they would be washed by the very red blood of the Savior. All other pretensions of color and division would be lost.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me;
I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see!