Black, White, and Peach All Over

peach crayonBy Trillia Newbell

My son identifies himself as peach, the crayon color. His grandmother, my British mother in-law, asked him what color he thought she was and he said without hesitation, “Peach!” She said, “Good.” There are times when I wish we all would identify with each other in such creative descriptors. God is much more creative than “black” and “white”.

But there will be a day when my biracial son will have to check a little box identifying his ethnicity.  What if he picks “white”? I’ve been asked before. Honestly, I’m not all that concerned with what he checks. My husband and I have decided we would share our various heritage and history together. We will celebrate the beautiful diversity that is our family.

What we really want our son to know is that our holy God, the Creator of the universe, created him in His image. He created him equal in value and worth as he did with all people. We are equal in our fallen state as well. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Jesus, the son of God, the God-man, was born of a virgin and walked a perfect life. Jesus healed and performed miracles and was perfect in every way. He was tempted and yet never once sinned (Hebrews 4:15). This perfect man died on the cross, endured wrath that justly could have been reserved for us and rose concurring death (Romans 5: 9-10, 1 John 4:10).  And all the grace and promises that our in Christ are now instead reserved for my son, that is if he places his faith and trust in the One who saves (John 3:36, 2 Corinthians 1:20).

Sure, I want my son to have an understanding of his background and what makes up his DNA. But the only identity that will ever truly matter is that he is in Christ. I want him to be more enamored with that identity.  That is the identity I want to be amazed by; not that I am black but that I am a child of God because of Jesus.  I am His and He is mine. That’s amazing!

One day my son will be a man and will make his own decision. And part of me hopes he is a little jokester and simply checks “other” and writes in “peach.” Beyond color, my desire is that he would appease those asking, mark something, and know that his identity is “in Christ.”

 

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11 Comments to “Black, White, and Peach All Over”

  1. Tim says:

    Trillia, do you think those same people would ask your husband, “What if your children pick ‘black’?” This is such a strong example of why it is important for believers to find their identity in Christ, as you say, and not get caught up in worldly designations. You’ve touched on the same thing Paul did in Galatians 3:28; in fact, he thought it was so important he also wrote similarly to the Corinthians and the Colossians: skin color and nationality and gender are not that big a deal in the kingdom of God.

    Cheers,
    Tim

  2. Sandra says:

    Love it, Trillia!

  3. Trillia Newbell says:

    Tim, it’s interesting. My husband is rarely (if ever) asked questions about race and ethnicity. 🙂 With that said, I have no idea if anyone would ever ask him that question. I don’t think so. Thanks for your additional comments as well! – Trillia

  4. Trillia Newbell says:

    Thank you, Sandra!

  5. My kids are Caucasian, but recently my son asked me why black kids are called that when they are every shade of color. I didn’t know where that labeling came from so I wasn’t very helpful. I think pride in culture and heritage is important and something we speak of very little in our home. Most white people don’t know where they came from.

  6. Trillia Newbell says:

    I love that my husband’s heritage is really rich. He has very southern heritage and British. We will have lots to share with him. I am also excited to share about mine. I agree, I think it’s important. Frankly, I really think it’s fun as well. We enjoy it (the little we’ve shared already). I also think it draws attention to God’s creativity. Yes, we (blacks) are all sorts of shades. 🙂

  7. Colleen McNulty says:

    Trilla, I love reading your thoughts and writings. This writing brought me to tears. I pray for the day when no one has to declare their race.
    I watched Thern grow up and his mum, Jean was a dear, dear friend. I moved away and lost touch, although the Newbells remain in my heart. My daughter and Thern are the same age and they ‘hung out’ as children, went to the movies together. I reconnected with Thern via FB and saw his beautiful family and thus have followed your writings. Such a wise young woman you are.
    I just wanted to take a minute to say hello and thank you for sharing your wisdom. You, are a PEACH!

    Colleen

  8. Trillia Newbell says:

    How kind of you, Colleen! I made sure Thern read your thoughtful comment. Thank you for the encouragement. Really a blessing! -Trillia

  9. We’ve always used terms like peach, tan, brown, etc. with our kids. My middle daughter who is very imaginative has her own spin: cinnamon, honey, chocolate, pumpkin, pink, and who knows what else! But it’s a natural, celebratory way for kids to appreciate the different ways God made us all. Our immediate family and also our larger family contains various skin tones & ethnicities — and I think this (peach, tan, brown, etc.) is a much better and more natural way to discuss it with kids, especially young ones!

  10. Trillia Newbell says:

    That’s super sweet. My son used to lick my face because he associated me with chocolate. I just love it. I love the beauty of colors God created. I don’t mind being called black at all. I just know that ultimately my identity is wrapped up in Christ. What an amazing identity!

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