November 2015: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

There is more to color..

Cont’d from page 1

(like henna for hair, nails, and decorative patterning of skin) to make ourselves stand out, fit in, and look good to our friends.

God has not only shared the beauty of color with His living creations, but also in His inanimate creations. He has created rushing blue rivers, towering red sandstone rocks, and beaches of many colored sands. His majestic mountains, valleys, deserts, rivers and seas reflect His glory through the power of color representing different minerals (35:27). The masterpiece of the most gifted painter is no match for a sun rising over a snow-capped mountain peak. Nor can the greatest work of a master sculptor compare with the divine creations of God (Job 12:7-12; Jeremiah 10:10-14) such as the fairy chimneys in Turkey, the Grand Canyon in the United States, and the wind sculptured red sand dunes in Namibia.

God doesn’t just use color to warn, protect, or inspire His living creations. The colors He has given to plants can attract us to them so we can benefit from the nutrients they have inside. Different vegetables of different colors may have different vitamins and nutritional ingredients. The different qualities are all important in maintaining a healthy life. For example, we are drawn to the bright colors of oranges, strawberries, and raspberries which contain a high level of vitamin C. Milk and cheese like the calcium and fat they contain are white and creamy. The deep brown color and enticing aroma of chocolate invites us to take a bite, and rewards us with a natural chemical that soothes our nerves as well as powerful antioxidants. And the rich purple of grapes, figs, and blueberries call us to sample these fruits with their nourishing ingredients. Fruits and vegetables of many colors are an important part of a healthy life (16:69; 39:21). The same is true of our races.

Just as God has given His other creations colors to preserve them, so has He done with man (35:28).

Anthropologic and other scientific studies have provided good evidence that early humans living at or near the equator received large amounts of sunlight. While the right amount of sunlight is essential for life, too much or too little can be fatal. We absorb sunlight through our skin. Humans living in sun rich areas such as Africa developed dark skin pigmentation, which permitted them to absorb enough sunlight to produce critical compounds such as vitamin D, but not so much as to significantly increase their risk from ultra-violet induced skin cancer. Dark pigmented eyes also offered protection to their possessors from the harmful effects of sunlight, which could be critical for a hunter-gatherer species, dependent on vision.

As our ancestors moved north, the light from the sun dimmed. In addition to less sunlight, the temperature was much colder in the winter. Because early humans in Africa did not need as much clothing to protect themselves from the weather, they received significant amounts of sunlight on their skin. But because those living in the northern climates had to deal with ice, snow, and freezing temperatures, they needed to wear more clothing than their southern relatives.  For our northern ancestors wearing furs was not a fashion statement, it was a survival mandate. However, in their need to avoid freezing they covered their skin thereby reducing the amount of sunlight they received. To counter this, in accordance with God’s plan, their skin pigment gradually diminished until they were very fair skinned. Also, because there was less light shining on their eyes, their eye color changed from brown to blue which allowed more light to enter the retina.

While skin color was driven in large part by where people lived, their language was also influenced by their environment (30:22). Different languages in different areas developed different words. For example, people living on the equator had little need for words such as “snow” or “seasons.” Language was used to unite a people and share common beliefs and cultures. Even today language should be used to unite different cultures, not divide us because all languages come from, and are ultimately heard by God (30:22; 22:17-18).

So we must be careful what we say (Quran 35:10; Proverbs 5:1-2; Gospel of Matthew, 6:2, 5; Quran 2:264).

While people living in northern Europe and in southern Africa may have had different skin colors, they had the same hopes and fears, and the same Creator. The world has changed dramatically today bringing our different races together. Though our outward appearances may still be different, our needs for fulfillment, happiness, and belonging are still the same and we still share the same Creator (22:34), Who loves all of us as long as we keep His commandments and do not do evil (19:96; 49:13). After all, we all share one true purpose in life: To magnify the glory of God and praise His name (Quran 51:56; Gospel of Matthew 22:37; Psalms 99:1-5).

Because we share that Creator, we are part of a common family. Our ancestors relied on this family, tribe, or group for their survival. While a solitary bear could live by hunting on its own in the summer and hibernating in the winter, a solitary human would likely succumb to predators, hunger, or the weather. Although few of us now face those kinds of threats, we still have a great need to belong to a wider family and it is still important to God’s plan for us. In fact, God has decreed that we treat everyone justly and fairly as instructed in the Bible as well as the Quran (Gospel of Matthew 25:34-36, Matthew 22:39; Quran, 4:36; 24:22; 33:6; 3:75).  In the New Testament, Jesus also commanded his followers to care for the poor and the unfortunate, as stated in the Gospel: whatever you do “for the least of my brethren you did it also for me” (Matthew 25:40).

Color is a sign, a gift, a tool from God.  Let’s not turn this blessing to a curse – a proof of ignorance.
Our diversity as a people, our colors, our history, and our abilities, when taken together, form a rainbow. Like the rainbow shown to Noah as a promise of a brighter future (Genesis 9:16-17), so our rainbow of human diversity holds a promise of a better future, which shines brightly in the light of God.