Sunday, October 12, 2014

White and black

I've been away too long, involved in other things.  Some pleasant news: settled a case that looked like it was going to hearing, and with a full-court press: two different hearings, flyering the schools, the whole thing.  Nice when all that work can be avoided.

Of course there are two or three others shaping up to take its place, but we'll see.

As some of you know, we're getting it together to move out of here, although where is still unclear.  And we're making progress.  Gayle took a ride to her storage bin and hauled a third of it back here, and we processed a good bit of it.  Today, she put on a yard sale, and we got rid of serious crap, including a huge television we never actually watched.  We now have a patch of original carpet where it sat in its stand, and the color is dramatically different from everywhere else in the house.

The stand needed cleaning, and the water came out truly black.  This got me to thinking about blackness, which in this case is clearly associated with filth.

Filth is often dark, and the color of things often gets lighter when they're cleaned.  I'm convinced that this basic fact of the universe is in the foundations of racism, and the Bible addresses this.

There is a "blackness of darkness" (Jude 13).  But not all blackness is of darkness.  For instance the names of the sons of Israel are to be engraved on two onyx stones on the high priest's breastplate.  Onyx is black.

Then, too, purity from sin is white.  But so is leprosy.  This led in the wilderness to a little lesson on racism (Numbers 12).

Moses had married a Cushite woman, yes, a schwarze.  Aaron and older sister Miriam didn't like it and grumbled about it, so God summoned all three to the tent of meeting.  God appeared in the cloud and told them that Moses had exceptional favor with God, who spoke to him face to face, and that they needed to shut up about this.  The cloud lifted, and Miriam was a leper, white as snow.  Once they got that worked out, we may be sure that white didn't seem quite so right to Aaron and Miriam anymore.

Then, too, the sign that leprosy is healed when black hair grows in the lesion (Leviticus 13:37).

So then, black and white is not the whole story.  What kind of white, or what kind of black?  In particular, if you have a problem with somebody's tan - remember Miriam.


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