On Saturday night I took my 4 year old daughter to swim at our neighborhood pool. As we were walking towards the place where we put our towels she befriended two other girls who looked her age. Their response was shocking. They told her “We don’t play with dark-skins, we only play with light skins.” I was just far enough away that I wasn’t sure if that was what I just heard. The little girls ran off and I ran to my daughter and asked her what they said. She confirmed it and told my wife and I later that she said to them, “that is not nice!” To which they replied “We can still say that.”
I was shocked. All I wanted in that moment was to comfort my daughter and assure her that she is loved. That she is beautiful. That I want to be her friend! I talked to her about how God made us all different colors and how we don’t choose who we play with or not play with because of the color of our skin. She said again, “that is not nice!” Yes, and I have another word for it too!
Later that night, my wife was able to talk to her again about the experience and reiterate some of the same things. She was also able to ask her what God’s heart was toward them. She said ‘it makes Him sad’. My wife then asked her what God tells us to do to our enemies. She said “we love them”, and so they payed for the girls to be kind and to know Jesus.
After the whole ordeal I couldn’t help but wish that I would have looked for those girls and their parents and had a talk with them. I can’t help but wonder why they said that so quickly in response to my daughters kind “hello!” Would their parents be shocked if they knew that their daughters said that? Would they or do they say the same things in their own adult ways? What is in store for those little girls if someone doesn’t change their heart towards those who don’t look like them?
I love the way my wife said it in response, “The joy those kids (and families) are missing in knowing those different from them and ultimately knowing the heart of our heavenly Father! Have mercy on them, Lord!”