April 14, 2006

M & M's

1510 page31 cap used to be a proud single girl. I shopped for one. I cooked for one. I made my own plans for my holidays. I was happy with who I was, and with who God was helping me to become. Life as a single girl was good!
I dated a few different men, but didn’t find the perfect match. They were nice--for the most part. They had strengths that I admired, and they were good people. But there was something missing.
And then I met him. We knew right away that this was something incredible that doesn’t come along every day.
He’s quiet and sweet, while I’m energetic and feisty. He’s more conservative and careful, while I’m the liberal, spontaneous one. I bring excitement to his life, and he reins me in when I go too far. He matches my strong personality perfectly. We were both raised Adventist, and we both take a lot of pride in our Adventist heritage. We go to church together. We worship at home together. We pray together. He shows me the value of tradition, and I show him the wonder of something new. And I love him--more than anything in this world. Actually, I’m absolutely crazy about him!
1510 page31We prayed about it long and hard. After a lot of prayer, I accepted his proposal. God was leading, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was the man that God had created to be my husband. We had a quiet May wedding. My family was thrilled, as was his! Our church was excited for us. Our pastor couldn’t have been happier. It all came together so beautifully. We’ve been married almost a year--the happiest time of my life!
I’m White, and my husband is Black.
Even though I was raised in North America and my husband was raised in Africa, because we are both Adventist, we have so many things in common. Of course, there are still differences to talk about and try to understand. But the basics--our faith--remain constant. My husband was raised with the same values as I was: with the same vegetarian diet, and with the same belief system. No matter how different our homelands might be, our Adventist Christian foundation has cemented us together. Should our skin color matter?
One morning we were having one of our “Have you ever wondered if . . .” conversations through the shower curtain. It went something like this:
“If Adam was made from the dust of the ground, wouldn’t it stand to reason that he would be the color of the rich earth? And if the Garden of Eden was situated in Africa, and Africans are also the color of the rich earth, could Adam have been Black?”
But where did White people come from, I wanted to know? And we were both stumped. The Bible tells us where different languages came from, but it doesn’t ever explain different skin colors. And what of Asian people, for that matter? Was it all just slow acclimatization? But that doesn’t take different facial constructs into account.
It doesn’t matter, really. It’s our connection to God that matters. If God sees the heart, and if God doesn’t value us based on our skin color, why do we keep wondering what color Adam and Eve were? For that matter, why would Adam and Eve have had to be the same color? If our differences are just God’s celebration of variety, why couldn’t Adam have been light-skinned and Eve have been the color of the rich earth, in the spirit of the Song of Solomon? If they were the beginning of a vast gene pool, couldn’t all of the different varieties originated from them, and been part of God’s design scheme?
I love that about God . . . I love that He brought me this amazing man from across the world . . . I love that He sees what’s important . . . I love that He’s a romantic. And while I don’t know how the races originated, I love that God created us this way. I love that we’re like a handful of M&M’s in God’s hand, and the red ones never come last.
Patty Froese writes from Alberta, Canada, where she lives with her husband, Jean.