On our way to the park the other day, Liam was talking about his friends he'd spent time with earlier in the day.
"I realized that [the boy] had brown skin and the rest of his family had white skin," he said, "and then I remembered he was adopted. From Africa!"
"Isn't his skin beautiful? It looks like chocolate," I replied.
I tried to explain to him that just like Liam is red-green colorblind, some people think we should all be colorblind - but only to skin color. But as believers, we believe God created those magnificent shades of brown and peach and gold and we should celebrate their beauty and diversity.
Liam sat for a while, then said, "I'm glad our brown friend didn't live during Civil Rights. Things were so unfair for brown people then." We talked for a moment about how, sadly, things are still unfair for our dark-skinned friends in many ways.
He thought a while longer then said very bluntly, "I'm just glad I have white skin..."
I paused, nervous to hear the rest of the sentence, until he finished, "so I can be like Abraham Lincoln and help my brown friends."
Just that morning, I'd listened to Dorena Williamson's interview on Jamie Ivey's podcast, and it couldn't have been more timely. She talked about the importance of having conversations about race with our kids and about celebrating diversity instead of pushing it under the rug as something inappropriate to talk about. I know the kids and I will have countless conversations about race and diversity in the future, and I am grateful to Dorena and others for helping guide this conversation and many others. May we be bridge builders for the Gospel.
(Dorena wrote a beautiful children's book called ColorFull that is one of my kids' faves. Click on the photo of the book to take you to Amazon to purchase!)