AS youngsters my friends and I often discussed the color of God. Depending on how the question was answered, it would seem to support beliefs of superiority or inferiority. For example, if God were my color, my race was superior. If He was another color, a different race was better, and so on. Of course, we could not be certain what color God was, not to mention the problems involved in thinking about a humanly circumscribed God who had a color in the first place! How could a ``big man in the sky" really
govern the entire universe? Even Superman, we knew, was limited to being in one place at one time. But God needed to be everywhere.
As I learned in school about the accomplishments of a black man, George Washington Carver, I was greatly impressed! When I learned about slavery, I was ashamed. Why did having a dark skin in our society mean having so much more difficulty? That hardship seemed unfair to me. ``How could God permit such inequities?" I asked myself.
It was many years before I found an answer to these questions. It came in the form of the explanation Christian Science gives of God as Mind, Principle, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love--synonymous terms for the one God. I finally understood that God, defined in this way, has no color. What color, after all, is Spirit or Truth or Love?
And man, because he is made in the likeness of God, Spirit, is spiritual, and thus not compartmentalized by race or ethnic origins. This scientific definition of man shows that we are all the perfect reflection of a perfect God. God creates everyone, so we are all equally entitled to His love and care. No individual or race has more--or less--access to God's goodness and justice. I began to see that subjection and injustice can be overcome by accepting and living the fact that God governs His entire crea tion. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, points out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love."
My late husband was a Japanese-American interned during World War II. While he was not bitter, his had been a difficult life because of his different facial features and skin color. He would have been pleased to know of the kind words and monetary gifts given by the United States of America to those Japanese-Americans still living. But a country is not always able or willing to restore or compensate for lost opportunities. God, however, can always provide the freedom and self-worth that is needed if we b ut turn wholeheartedly to Him.
Around the world riots and war--even ordinary crime--produce untold inequities to merchants, victims, and community pride. In large measure, these losses can never be compensated for monetarily. But whatever abuses the past has perpetrated, healing comes today through a renewed understanding of God's love for each of His children and through a willingness to act in obedience to Him. Justice is God's way, as Christ Jesus' life made plain, and learning of His goodness repairs our individual lives. Giving l ove--through the prayer, time, and money that aid our neighbors and help alleviate their hardships--hastens the healing process. What we can do may not seem like much, but it is a start. And we all have a part to play in securing equality.
Paul said, we read in the Biblical book of Acts, ``I was free born." No matter where injustice is found, or how deeply rooted it seems to be, each person is spiritually free to find the God that has no color, who gives man dominion over all the earth.