What does a white girl who grew up in the Texas Panhandle know about ethnic diversity, racial injustice, and white privilege?
I’m not sure how to answer that question.
More than yesterday?
Less than yesterday?
Nothing at all?
In the past, I wouldn’t write specifically on race. You might say it’s not in my “genre.” I write to inspire renewal in hearts and homes. But over the past three weeks, I’ve been asking myself the question, “Does diversity fit within these parameters?”
A Look at the Home
As an interior designer, I curate colors and patterns with furnishings to create a room the client loves coming home to. The layering of various hues and finishes is what makes a room aesthetically pleasing. Beauty is found in the variety of details and unique items a person collects.
Maybe it’s a gallery wall—of family portraits, artwork, or favorite sayings.
Maybe it’s a collection of grandmother’s china displayed for daily enjoyment.
Maybe it’s a vignette of travel souvenirs.
I enjoy using and showcasing what the client loves—items that nod to who they are.
Walking through a person’s home gives us an understanding of her tastes, loves, heritage, and lifestyle. We find clues within the walls of a home, giving us more clarity of the person who dwells there.
And so it is in our hearts.
When we trust Jesus with our lives, we welcome him in—the heart is Christ’s home. And we make changes according to his preferences, not ours.
When we open our hearts to another person, we invite them to see more of who we are—and often find common ground and shared interests. Yet, what if we just walk by or look the other way?
In a recent issue of HGTV magazine, an article featured a picture of a traditional two-story colonial house. When I flipped the page, though, I smiled at the unexpected. Pops of bold hues and furnishings with a retro vibe filled the room.
The home magazine illustrates a powerful message:
We cannot perceive an interior while only looking at the exterior.
It’s true with homes, and it’s true with people.
We enter in to see, know, and understand—so we know how to serve, care, and love.
A Look at the Heart
When I compose faith-based pieces, this is my focus:
As I considered writing a series about ethnic diversity, I found that this conversation aligns profoundly with my mission to inspire renewal in hearts.
Renewing the heart
The definition of renewal is restoration, making new, beginning again, replacing and replenishing. It’s a process that plays out season after season in nature and the many seasons of our hearts (when we seek God for it).
The heated climate of our nation makes us yearn for restoration. But it begins in our hearts.
God placed us in the world right now amidst the current unrest of our nation, so it’s for our good to ask, “What does God want to show me in this?”
Clear the clutter
Like our homes, we all have soul clutter—stuff we think about, values we esteem, pressures we face—anything that fills our minds. And while not all clutter is bad, most of it needs to be sorted (and thrown out if necessary).
Cries for racial justice, protests of violence, and words (so many words) on every side have dumped reams of clutter on my heart, and I’m sorting through it.
Clearing the clutter from our hearts is not a weekend project. It’s a daily surrender—because clutter accumulates daily through news, social media feeds, and within the walls of our hearts and homes.
Dwelling with our Creator
I dwell with God by noticing his presence and seeking his character in the world around me—through scripture, nature, and people. To enjoy his beauty is to delight in the spectrum of colors he creates.
So, what do I know about diversity? I’m still not sure how to answer the question, but this is what I know:
All of creation displays diverse artistry breathed into existence by the Creator to bring him glory.
I don’t want to miss out on the mosaic beauty he places right in front of me, do you?
In this series (and hopefully, all of my days), I’m asking the question, “Does my view of others glorify God and celebrate the beauty of the mosaic life he created?”
I hope you’ll join me.
Let’s be intentionally hospitable people and welcome ethnic diversity into our hearts and homes.
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