Auburn University and the University of Alabama are two of the biggest rivalries in college football.
But there are cracks in the conflict. I saw a huge schism last month.
Our daughter Jenna sings in the Auburn Gospel Choir. Once a year they team up to perform a Unity Concert with the Alabama Afro-American Choir (20-second video here).
Under the same roof. Side by side. Singing the same song.
Frankly, I wasn’t sure how the colors would mix.
But here’s what I noticed.
First, I saw color. I admit.
But then I noticed more: it was beautiful color. A wonderful blend.
Not just the blue and orange robes of the Auburn choir and the crimson ties of Alabama. But the black and white skins.
Although Auburn is predominantly made up of African-American students, there are several white kids sprinkled throughout. But Alabama was solidly dark.
Except for one. A single male student. A white boy.
A blind boy.
He stood protected in the middle, guided into place by fellow students (he left his cane in his chair). They gentled nudged him by elbows to sway in time to the music, to the right, to the left, as they sang.
And sing he did. They did. In unison, in harmony, in black and white.
And in color.
In a football stadium in November, the differences between Alabama and Auburn are as loud as they come.
But in a church building year-round, their unity of praise shouts even louder.
Unity doesn’t mean we all have to look alike. To sound alike. To believe exactly alike.
Unity means we’ve learned to live deeper than the differences—to see through many colors—to set eyes on the same Lord.
Don’t let your prejudice keep you from loving those wearing a different color than you. God wants all his children to love each other, not only those just like us.
Declare allegiance to him to love broadly. In unity, not uniformity.
Love in color.
* * *
Who can you love today that’s different than you?
I’m blogging this week on Live Second. Today, Session 2: Issues; Week 7: Relationships; Day 7: Unity.
Watch more on unity in relationships at I Am Second.
“Would he ever consider reconciling our relationship? He laughed in my face and said I will never, ever consider doing that. But he would take the letter out 2 or 3 times a week and weep.”
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