Hearts Have No Color
By Billy Beasley
Hearts have no color is probably my favorite line in the The River Hideaway. My first traditionally published novel.
One thing I love about this statement is that it has taken on a life of its own with many of the readers. I have had- “Hearts have no color”- repeated back to me by various people. My friend, Richard Busby, suggested at a Barnes and Noble book signing in Raleigh to sign the books with that caption. I don't know why I did not think of it sooner.
There are a few reasons why this line means so much to me. The lesson was taught by my favorite character in The River Hideaway, Clarence Wilkins, a black man, who refuses to allow the prejudice he endures in his life to change his way of belief-of his sense of fairness regardless of race. He teaches this lesson to his son and daughter. But there comes a part in the story when his daughter ventures down a road that he does not approve of and he stumbles to live out the words that he has taught. She turns his words back to him-reminding him of what he taught her. What will he do?
The River Hideaway is fictional-unlike our lives, though at times I sure wish I could write some of my decisions off to fiction. I love the line in my book because I believe it with all my heart. I believe it because I believe in God- a Father that loves His children. Do you think for one moment that our loving Father considers the color of our skin?
I have shared often about growing up in a church where racism flourished. Even as a little boy during the racial conflict that was a big part of Wilmington during that time as well as in much of the country, I recall sitting in church thinking isn't this where we should all come together? They taught us to sing.
Jesus loves the little children, All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight.
But their church doors were closed to any person of color.
Several years ago, I heard a powerful message from a black minister who felt the Lord wanted him to integrate the church that he was the Pastor of. It was met with resistance by many members of the congregation, in fact some of his own family left the church, but he pressed on because that was his directive from God. The church is now diversified.
I wish I could tell you that I was without prejudice as I grew up in the south or that I had no problem when our schools begin to integrate, or when we were bused to what was previously an all black school. No, sadly I gave into the silly stereotypes that still exist today.
But on the night when God showed up to a lost young man, walking down a dark road and I experienced first hand how real our God is I knew without anyone telling me that God looked on the heart. The color of one’s skin should matter only in the beauty that God made us individually unique and that should be appreciated. But to single out, to ostracize, to separate us, that was never the mission of a God that died to unify us back to the father as one family. Not in any circumstance.
1 Samuel 16:7
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Remember when the disciples asked Jesus about Heaven and He said you don't even understand earthly things.
I am pretty sure of a few things about Heaven. There will be no “us”, no “them”. There will be no racial division. No prejudice. No stereotypes.
But one heart all tied into our Father.
Hearts have no color.
I believe that is more than a line in a fictional story. It is a way to live. At least it is for me.
About the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke. They are active members of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington, NC.
Billy is the author of The River Hideaway- a traditionally published work of faith based fiction and the newly published novel, The Preacher's Letter. He shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in this novel. Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’.
You can read Billy’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 2nd Sunday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.