Every head in the store turned to stare or glare as my 2 year old son screamed at the top of his lungs when the cashier took away the toy lawn mower so she could ring it up – or at least that is the way it felt during the worst temper tantrum of all three of my sons. People upset at the disruption to their calm lives, in a glance, putting a spotlight on me, on my mothering skills, on how I would handle the situation. All eyes on the white girl…
As the child of missionary parents, each time we would return to America, we traveled all over, sharing about the work. Churches, camps, you name it. For some reason, it has always fascinated people to have the MK’s, (Missionary Kids), be up front, or if possible, speak in our, “foreign,” language, sing, or answer un-answerable questions. It was like being squeezed between the glass and placed under the microscope. All eyes on the white girl….
While on the inside, I feel as brown as the people I grew up with, I always knew that I stood out with my very blonde hair and blue eyes, white skin and freckles. Seeing some of the pictures from a trip back a couple of years ago, the fact was re-inforced on how very different I looked. Everywhere we went, whether to church, downtown, in a restaurant, all eyes could automatically be drawn to the starkness of our differences. All eyes on the white girl…
At work, in social settings, even on Facebook, people can, “stare,” at me. I mean, come on! I go to church every time the doors are open; I love Jesus Christ and make no bones about it; I am known to be vocal on things that I feel are not pleasing to God; having seen the effects of alcohol, I believe in abstaining; I am clear on wanting the words I speak, the things I see or watch, the way I dress to be clear signs of purity – my life is not my own. It is swallowed up in Christ! I am a freak. All eyes on the white girl…
The Bible lets us know that if we live the way God teaches, we will be thought of as, “peculiar people.” God’s ways are so different that we will stand out, the spotlight will be on us, people will hate us, mock us, stare at us – all eyes on the white girl!!!!!!
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
There may be situations in life that make us think or feel like we are alone or weird or strange, yet does it really matter?
Although so very embarrassing to have my 2 year old pitch such a fit in public, not realizing that he was getting that toy lawn mower back once it was rung up and paid for, how I handled my son, how I treated the cashier was much more important than what people thought of me.
When I felt like I was on display as we traveled to share, what really matters is that people learned about others who needed the Lord, and in the long run, that is more important to me than my lingering stage fright today.
Being very white in a country full of beautiful, bronze-colored people might have made me stand out, but I would not have missed a single, cherished moment of the love and acceptance and lavishment that was heaped on me during my trip back to Brazil – they knew my heart and that is what mattered most.
We can let the spotlights in our lives blind and cripple us forever, or we can take them on, accept the light they shed and go on as imperfect, odd, different, yet happy people. One day, I will move on to another world where Jesus will shine the spotlight to welcome me HOME and I will cry out, “ALL EYES ON THE WHITE GIRL!!!”
[1 Thes. 4:13-18]
You’re my life and salvation, you’re the
Strength in me
You’re my inspiration, you’re the light that
Shines on me
Although I cannot see you, I know I’ve
Always felt you
So I will follow you and believe, I will follow
You and believe
Someday, I know your comin’ back for me
For the one that loves you
(The one who loves you)
Someday I know my heart and soul
Will be free
From the pain they hold on to
I’m holdin’ on to someday
In times of desperation,
I’m gonna cling to you
I’ll find hope and protection, In the love
That I found in you
Although I cannot see you,
I know I’ll always feel you
So I will follow you and believe,
I will follow and believe
When you take me away to another place
I’ll be with you forever living in your grace