Green: Box of Crayons

Staff Writer
Stephenville Empire-Tribune
Renae Brumbaugh Green

I think the Crayola Company should sell a new box of crayons. 64-pack, all one color. Cerulean blue is my favorite, but any color will do. If there were only one color in the world, maybe we’d all get along better.

Recent news has highlighted, once again, how divided our nation is. Some feel that abuse of power, no matter who it’s directed toward, is an abomination to our justice system and should be punished. Others, particularly people of color, are frustrated that the abuse of power is so often directed at them. I agree. Yet I feel like right now, I don’t need to talk about my own thoughts as much as I need to listen to others. I’m white. And as much as I may want to understand what it feels like, not to be white, I’ll never really know. The best I can do is close my mouth and let others, with a more informed perspective, do the talking.

If I say anything, I think the most important message I can communicate is I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry there are jerks in this world. I’m sorry that bullies of all shapes, sizes and colors show up in positions of authority. I’ve been bullied before—we all have. But that still doesn’t give me a right to say I understand what it feels like to fear the people who are paid to protect me, or that I know what it’s like to be underestimated because of my race. I don’t.

Back to that box of crayons—what would life be like, if there were only one skin color? Why did God create so many variations, when those different hues and tones pit us against each other?

I think I know the answer to that. God is an artist, and He loves to create. That’s His play-time. He formed each of us, not with a 64-pack, but an unlimited-skin-color edition. He made us each unique and beautiful, and then He said our skin color is just the wrapping paper. Like gifts under a Christmas tree, our variations provide sparkle and beauty to the world. But the real gift—the person—is inside.

Instead of a one-color world, maybe it would be better if we were all struck color-blind. Yet what a pity, if we couldn’t enjoy the full range of God’s craftsmanship. While I keep my mouth shut in society, while I listen to others’ frustrations with the way things are, I think I’ll have a long talk with God. I’ll pray that He will give each of us eyes that see beyond the wrapping, all the way to a person’s heart. After all, some of the most beautifully-wrapped gifts contain nothing more than fertilizer. Sometimes, the simply-wrapped gifts contain the greatest treasure. We’ll never know what’s inside the box unless we take the time to set aside the container and examine its contents.

“God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7.

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly perfect children, and far-too-many animals. Connect with Renae at