Black And White

By Ken Woodley

Sometimes the whole world seems to speak a foreign language that I do not understand.
Times when the whole world makes no sense at all.
Hearts are shut down.
Voices are raised.
Meaning is lost.
Darkness seems to be in control of every light switch.
I wander like a stranger in a strange land, hearing people declare that the color of their skin makes them better than others.
At those times all of the world’s words are a closed book to me.
There is no dictionary. No definition to explain it all. No meaning to anything. Just noise, noise, noise.
But no sounds that I want to hear.
And all of the dark and dividing voices seem certain that God is fighting on their side.
Some of them stand in front of a church holding up a bible that, in their hands, looks more like another weapon being wielded.
Just like it did when the first slave ships arrived.
Like it did during lynchings.
During cross-burnings.
Just like it did when a trigger was pulled in Memphis, Tennessee.
A black man is killed because he is black.

And it keeps on happening. On and on and on. Keeps on happening today and, if we do not stop, it will keep on happening tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Sometimes I imagine I am standing in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago in the days before Pentecost, understanding nothing at all.
I am surrounded by Parthians, Medes and Elamites, by residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and visitors from Rome.
But … then something happens.
Suddenly, the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus plays a note.
Just one note.
A note of such wonder that I don’t need to understand every word, or any word, that is being spoken.
Everything is being said—everything that truly matters—by the melody of that one note.
The borderless Holy Spirit opening all of our ears, all of our minds, all of our hearts with one true note so wondrous that it can somehow play a one-note melody inside us.
The same note within us all.
Black and white brothers and sisters.
Black and white children of God.
If we’d only listen.
If we’d only sing along.
Dividing every division until there is nothing left at all.
But people.
Nothing left at all but us—the harmony that God has been praying would one day fill the world.
But too, it has seemed for far too long, the hardest thing for a human being to do is open their heart and feel what God feels toward every person in this world.
Black and white.
All colors.
And accents.
Open their mouth and speak what God would say to all the people of this world.
Black and white.
All colors.
And accents.
Open their mind and understand what God understands about everyone.
Black and white.
All colors.
And accents.
A note of true beauty needs no explanation, no dictionary, no interpreter.
It only needs us to understand and accept that God has planted the seed of that one true note in all of us.
Black and white.
All colors.
And accents.
Without exception.
Black and white.
All colors.
And accents.
This is something I believe with every fiber of my being: The world would make total sense—the sound of one heart beating—if we’d only let it.

4 thoughts on “Black And White

  1. I totally agree with the words you present. However, I do not see racial injustice as the presenting issue. What I see is a carefully thought out and executed plan by Antifa to stir racial issues. In Richmond many of my friends and clients (most black) have had their businesses destroyed not by protestors, but rioters. I pray for evil to be removed. We cannot heal until the root is removed. So, ideas from anyone on how to quench evil and let mankind live in peace?


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