If Only Skin Showed the Heart

Gettin' a lil brown sugar...

“Beauty is only skin deep, but Love is as fathomless as the sea”

I was listening to a comedian today talking about “inter-racial couples”, how he didn’t love it when people referred to him (black), and his wife (Japanese) with that term.  To him, she was just “her, my wife, and beautiful.”  He went on to cite some other stereo-typical things people say when a couple has different racial backgrounds.  Here’s what’s hysterical…I’ve heard them all referring to us! They aren’t even all bad things, for instance, he mentioned how strangers will say, “you’ll have such beautiful babies!”  Now, I love hearing that – and people do say that often which is so kind!  However, I always think of it as just because my hubby is so good looking, and I have such awesome hair, that is just has to be true.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be willing to even consider pregnancy. I digress…

Love feels the same in every color...

Love feels the same in every color…

This post is about how I’ve found Race to be proof that Beauty is Skin Deep.  Now, I’m not an anthropologist, I grew up in a “privileged culture”, so don’t attack me with all the other implication of race, I know.  But dating and marrying a partner darker than me has taught me: until we know someone, we see race, once we know them, we see soul.  And maybe what we see on the outside isn’t what the world would typically deem “beautiful”, but my theory is that anyone can look “beautiful” by the worlds standards with a little worldly help – make up, hair product, clothes, lighting, etc.  Every reality make-over show has taught us that.  But do those people change on the inside during that process?  Enough so that they carry a new attitude or world-view into the rest of their life?  We can hope so.

Let’s talk about Love.  Love covers a multitude of sins doesn’t it?  Once you’ve fallen in love with someone, it’s hard to see their faults.  Even on the bad days, you leave the house, start to miss them, remember how great they’ve made your life, and before you know it, you’re calling to tell them all those things!  Now, sometimes, as you get to know someone, you find they are hard to love.  That’s legit, sometimes personalities just don’t mesh well, or you are working at cross-purposes in the world, I submit to you that if you kept getting to know someone, you’d like them more and more, because you would be able to walk a mile in their shoes.  The movie “Ender’s Game” sums it up really well,

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.”
― Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game

What power there is in understanding….and courage in loving anyway.  In choosing not to focus on detrimental flaws, but on encouraging a individual’s strengths and making space for them in our lives.  Sigh.  Love is truly so enduring, and beauty is really so fleeting.  I will give you just a quick summation of how I see this in my marriage:   When I first started dating my hubby, a friends mother saw his picture on Facebook and asked me about the “nice African American man” I was seeing.  (Ed has not a drop of African, or Mexican which is another common mistake).  Another reminder of our difference came when a friend innocently asked about a gift for his sister, “I’ve never met her, so I don’t know what color to get…is she as dark as he is?”  I laughed so hard because I just always thought of him as having a nice tan, and when people ask him his background, his says “British” – he was born there and still carries duel citizenship.  Because we’ve both lived and traveled in Europe, I think of us as “citizens of the world”, rather than a “bi-racial couple”, and that means something to us.

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight...

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight…

What brought all of this home when I heard the comedian today was this discussion with my Love the other night.  I said, “hey honey, let’s go visit this community and just check it out!”  He replied, “Babe, I don’t think we’d be welcome there.”  I laughed, not on the same page, “haha, yes, we are a little bit loud and crazy from them”, and he smiled and my mis-understanding, “no my love, I mean because of me, I don’t think they are used to people like me”, I still didn’t get it.  Because he’s so passionate?  Patriotic?  A solider?  Finally the light went on, “oh…because you’re darker than me?”  He nodded, still smiling, “it’s ok baby love, we can still go if you want to.”  I mean woah!  I am so quick to forget that he feels like he stands out, because even in the military there were fine lines of light and dark in certain rooms.  In my eyes, he is Edward, my love, my husband, a man of faith and integrity, the most kind and compassionate person I know.  How quickly that skin-deep beauty fades in the eyes of love. ❤

P.S.  If you’re still curious:  Ed’s mother’s family is from Guyana, his father’s family are from Poland.  So he’s a little bit Indian…but I’m also part Native American, so we’re both super ethnic.

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The Fox and the Hound

Already a family of 3, can't wait for Foxy to meet her new furry sister!

Already a family of 3, can’t wait for Foxy to meet her new furry sister!

Yet another reason I know I’m meant to marry this man...we adopted a puppy this week.

I was gearing up for a huge event weekend with work, Ed was knee-deep in housing paper-work for us, and we are still living on opposite ends of the country.  Oh wait, and we’re planning a wedding in 6 weeks.  Perfect timing for God to do something sweet, just because He is loving.  So here’s what happened:

I had (secretly) been looking for puppies for Ed to give him as a wedding present, because he really wanted a German Shepard or large farm dog that he could run with…that could protect the house…and herd children. (Ed is a futuristic thinker.)  I kept coming up against road-blocks, pure-breds were super expensive, adoption agencies asked for so many references and applications…I finally threw up my hands and said, “Lord, I can’t spend any more time on this, if you think we should have another dog, you’re going to have to drop it in our laps like You did with Foxy Zazu.” (My awesome-friendly-spunky Pomeranian who I found free to a good home on Craigslist 3 years ago.)

In the pound

In the pound

2 days later, my room-mate sent me a text saying that 40 dogs were looking for homes at this shelter or they would be put down.  Now, normally I don’t respond to mass texts and guilt trips.  But there was a number, and I felt the nudge…so I thought I could at least call.  Well, that call had me talking to Mindy and her fiance in Colorado, who had never heard of my room-mate, but had been posting like mad on Facebook to get these dogs saved.  Turned out, it was a friend of theirs that worked for a shelter way down in Georgia who was trying to save the dogs.

Ed picked her up in GA..you're free!

Ed picked her up in GA..you’re free!

I decided it was time to get Ed involved, his instincts are always solid in these situations, so I texted him the info.  He called me back and said, “Baby, we can’t save all the animals in the world, what people should be doing is shutting down these shelters and letting the dogs go free!”  I heard him out before I said calmly, “Honey, I know, I wouldn’t normally jump on something like this…but I’ve been praying about getting a dog for us, and specifically asked for God to send us one if we should, and I just think we should call and see-” The intrepid man in my life cut me off, “I hear you baby, I hear you.  Ok, I’ll give them a call and see what’s up.”  I always said I needed a man who was more compassionate than I was, and Ed is totally that.

So the rest of the day Mindy kept checking in to see if she could help, Ed kept calling this Maria chick in GA, and I was in meetings all day getting text updates.  When Ed finally got through he texted me to look at the

The Fox...

The Fox…

Facebook page and see which dogs I liked, (Awful!  who can make that decision?) , but I told him to choose, this would be his, “man dog”, as Foxy is certainly not.

The Hound!

Liberty Belle, safe at home.

Everything worked out!  Ed choose a little girl puppy, she’s 4 months old, and a bloodhound.  Ed says, “if Foxy or one of the kids get’s lost, this dog will track them down!” (Again, to clarify, we do not have kids yet.)  He drove up to GA over the weekend, and picked her up.  We named her Liberty Belle, and after hearing the story, my astonished room-mate who never thought anything would come of her random act of activism is convinced this dog will save our lives one day.  Praise the Lord, we have a hound dog.  Are we Southern enough yet?