Precious is Their Blood
Updated: Aug 25, 2020
by Sr. Joyce Lehman
When I was a Director of Religious Education in a parish, one of the things I enjoyed was visiting the classrooms, or on some occasions, just standing beside the door, out of sight of the children, and listening to the interchanges. One day I was approaching the first grade classroom and heard singing. They were singing the little ditty, “What Color is God’s Skin?” Sometimes off-key but with great enthusiasm they sang, “It’s black, brown and yellow; it’s red and it’s white. Everyone’s the same in the good Lord’s sight.”
I’ve thought of that song, and the children’s innocence, while watching the demonstrations, both peaceful and violent, of the past few weeks — demonstrations stoked by fear, anger, frustration and despair. I found myself praying for that first grade class and for all the other children who sang that song in their innocence. I hoped that the seed of that message had taken root deep in their hearts and souls so that because of it they were working and praying for justice and peace for all people, no matter the color of their skin.
As simple as the words of that song are, they hold the meaning of a great mystery: the mystery of a God who lovingly creates each unique person as a gift to the rest of humanity and shares with them the destiny of ultimate unity with God and each other. Each gift of God comes wrapped in skin of varying hues. Although the outside may look different, that skin holds both the presence of God and our precious lifeblood which is the same color for all; we all bleed red. Psalm 72 says that “(God) redeems them, for precious is their blood in (God’s) sight.” Blood shed as a result of violence or for the sake of justice and peace is precious blood. In God’s eyes it is as precious as the blood shed by Jesus on the cross.
This article was originally published in This Good Work, which can be found in its entirely here.