Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Color Me Captivated

When I was a very little kid, I learned the song, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight…”

The problem was, I had learned my colors. I could easily pick red, yellow, black, and white from my Crayola box, but I’d never seen children in any of those colors. Certainly not in the mirror, either. I’d seen pink. And brown. Beige. Shades of peach. Though half my classmates were Indigenous, the only people I’ve ever seen with truly red skin were badly sunburned Caucasians; the only yellow people had jaundice; and the few I’ve seen with albinism were still not as white as my white crayon. Even the blackest of black skin is generally lighter than my black piano keys.

Yet I still believe in the song’s sentiment—Jesus loves all the children of the world, including the adult children. Wouldn’t it make more sense to teach our children, “Brown and beige and dark and light, all are precious in his sight…?”

Because all skin colors are simply varying hues on the same spectrum. Am I wrong? Am I crazy to feel left out by the term “people of color,” which implies my skin is colorless? And since our pigmentations are far less assorted than a box of crayons, shouldn’t it free us to celebrate the factors that truly make us unique?

Folklorama is happening in Winnipeg now. It’s the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world, and yet I had never gone—until last week. I needed to be in the city for a medical appointment anyway and wanted to visit the Japanese pavilion. Lucky for me, an amazing team of performers straight from Osaka graced the stage that night.
I was blown away from the first rich boom of those beautiful Kaiko (Japanese drums). They put on a fabulous show and I came away wondering why on earth I’d never done this before. For just seven dollars a ticket, you can experience the music, dance, and traditional costumes and regalia of whichever nation’s pavilion you visit. If you want to spend a little more, you can sample the food and beverages of that nation or take home a souvenir. If it weren’t for the mileage, I’d go see a different pavilion each night for the run of the festival. 

The great news is, you can enjoy a taste of the same right here in Portage la Prairie TODAY, and it’s free! On Saturday, August 18, from 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm, come to the Red River College north lawn for Portage Celebrates Diversity (formerly Newcomers’ Summer Festival). Organized by the Portage Learning and Literacy Centre, the event offers multicultural mini-pavilions, music and art performances, food, interactive workshops, kids’ activities, conversation circles, a human library, and a community expo for newcomers.

The Bible describes a scene the apostle John was privy to: “… there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9)

Did you catch that? EVERY tribe. The Kingdom of God is colorful, friends. Let’s get used to it, shall we?

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