My teeth look like your teeth

Smiling girl from Tatopani
Image by Dey via Flickr

As parents, we treasure certain moments as our children grow: first steps, first words, lost teeth.  I remember one unique occasion I’ll always treasure, when my eldest child learned about race.

Sitting in the lobby of our church as I met with a friend (I’ll call her Nina) from Kenya.  My eldest daughter (3 years old at the time) roamed the room.  In her pink dress and long, blond, tousled hair, she went under tables and touched everything available until she landed on my friend’s lap.  There my daughter remained throughout our conversation, holding hands and looking deeply at the beautiful lady seated across from me.

Suddenly she burst out, “Hey, your skin looks different from mine.”

There was no malice, no accusation present, merely observation.  Nina stated, “Yes, that’s true.”  She gazed into my little one’s eyes.

Again, my daughter declared, “Your eyes are different from mine.”

The gentle brown eyes sparkled at her tiny blues and again Nina said, “Yes, that’s true.”

Then, Nina still holding my girl’s hand, pointed out, “But our hands look similar and so do our nails.”

The three-year old pulled her own hand close to her face and next Nina’s.  “They are,” she said.  She looked up into Nina’s mouth and declared, “My teeth look like your teeth.”

It’s easy for us to noticed our differences and separate ourselves from one another because of those differences, but what if we choose to be more like a little child.  What if we choose to seek out the things we have in common.

The history of Christianity is filled with people who became caught up in the dissonance of life and not its harmony.  But we can learn from the early believers who reminded us this way:

Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

We’ll build more bridges with one another when we realize we’re using the same tools.  What are some similarities you can think of between you and other believers?

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