Back in the 1930s, my childhood home was loving and happy, but my parents were often away. On those occasions, the center of warmth in our home was the kitchen and our tiny, joyous housekeeper named Annie.
I spent many hours with Annie, sitting at our kitchen table reading books or playing with toys and listening to her sing and hum spirituals and hymns. From her heart sprang a continual flow of wisdom, cheerfulness, and song.
One morning, with childish exuberance, I used a racial slur I had heard. “Oh my, no,” she said, and then proceeded to pour out her heart in a gentle lecture on the harm and hurt in that, accompanied by a terrible sadness in her eyes. I never used that word again.
I learned that we cause unfathomable sorrow when we dishonor and debase others through bigotry. Every human being is created in the image of God—more like God than any other creature and worthy of honor. To demean that image is to wound another human being at the deepest level.
There is but one race: the human race. God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). We are of the same family, made to be treasured and cherished by one another.
Not one compares in worth with man,
In God’s own image he was made
To fill a place in His great plan. —D. De Haan