I was watching Touched by An Angel on the Hallmark Channel today and it was the episode where Monica (Roma Downey) is in a southern smalltown when Rosa Parks visits. The smalltown is divided because of racism leading up to Parks' visit. John Ritter guest stars as the town sheriff.
Monica wonders if things would be that much different if her skin was brown, so God grants Monica the privilege to be a black woman. There's this poignant scene where Monica is being chased by these two racist white guys in a truck on a dirt road. Monica runs off the road, hides behind a tree and pleads, "Oh God, please make me white again!" God does and when the white guys see Monica hiding behind a tree they apologize for scaring her and ask if she's seen a "nigger" lady running around.
Monica learns something about herself through her brief hour as human: that there is a darkness within. She experiences firsthand the power and allure of the sinful nature that exists in all humans. She comes to the revelation (with the help of some wise words from Rosa Parks) that being a human is hard and that before we can battle the darkness in the world we must acknowledge the darkness within and ask God to change us through His saving grace. She's got that right!
Another moving scene was when John Ritter's character and a black deputy were was confessing their darkness to one another after Monica revealed that she was an angel. The black deputy said he was tired of white people looking at him like he was an alien when he walked into fancy stores and that he hated how white people had something in them that wanted to put down black people when they could. John Ritter's character said that despite all his attempts to not be racist there was something deep inside of him, involuntarily bubbling that made him want to wash his hands after he shook hands with black people. Also, that he was tired of being made felt guilty by black people when he went out of his way to try not do something that may seem racist.
I had never seen this episode before and at first the whole black Monica didn't sit too well with me, but then I came to the conclusion that I didn't think the creators where trying to portray her in the stereotypical blackface manner.
Touched by An Angel is one of my favorite shows and this episode really hits on a lot of good spiritual points. Racism is something darker and deeper than hate itself, racism is a part of our sinful nature. It is something that manifested from mankind's Fall in the Garden of Eden. Also, racism isn't something that can be solved by our own power and will. We need God's help, the atoning grace that comes from the Holy Spirit's daily sanctification. And lastly, we can't pretend like racism isn't there. We have to admit that something deep inside of us longs for what is contrary to God's will. The Bible says:
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. (Galatians 5:16-18)Whatever the color of your skin may be, remember that we are all created by God. And that tells us a little something about Him, that He isn't fond of merely one color.
Check out this PSA on Racism Face Cream, thanks to Racialicious.com for the heads up.