Dreaming of a "Color-Amazed World"

My friend and colleague Mary Hess posted this on Facebook and I was so glad to have it brought to my attention.

Learning to speak a hard truth


I have been thinking so much about issues of race [and gender, and class] these past few weeks, and especially this week, as I helped lead the Anti-Racism Workshop on campus, and then had my first day of 21st Century Theologies of Liberation. It’s so hard to talk about diversity–especially in a context where there is precious little of it:  people quickly get defensive, and just want to “move on”–aren’t we over this by now?  We aren’t, of course, and our lack of ability to talk about it not only diminishes our ability to stand in both solidarity and friendship with others, but also diminishes our theology, as we refuse to allow ourselves to hear deeply and be transformed by the concerns of others.

Related to this, I’m also concerned about how the lack of constructive conversation around both race and gender contribute to the lack of constructive conversation about bodies–those of you who read this blog know how much I care about that! Theology is embodied, and when we leave the particulars of our bodies out of the conversation, we promote the lie that our thinking with/talking about/relationship with God only involves our minds–or our “spirits” [whatever that means, as though there were some disembodied “spirit” we could identify]–and thus, concern for our own bodies, and the bodies of others, has no place in “real” theology.  That is simply not true:  God cares about our bodies–after all, God made them and called them “good,” in all the shapes, sizes and colors in which they come–so we should care about them, too.

In her Facebook post, Mary highlighted the phrase “color-amazed world,” which came from this sentence:  “I yearn, not for a color-blind world, but for a color-amazed world where distinctiveness and diversity aren’t washed out but are noticed and treasured as God’s gracious gift.”

Isn’t that a fabulous phrase?  Even more, isn’t that a fabulous image of the Kingdom of God?  

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