The doors were still closed when I arrived at 4:00 AM, yet there were about 10 people already sitting and waiting. Relieved that there were not more people, I found a seat on the curb and sat down with them. The night air was warm and pleasant but the bush behind me was very prickly. Soon the door opened and I followed the people into the airport.
Security consisted of putting your bag on the table and the security people handing it back to you without searching. After passing through security I stood behind the people already present at the check in counter and waited my turn to present my ticket. Everyone ahead of me finished, and I stepped forward to hand them my ticket.
At that moment someone behind me accused me of cutting in line and told me that I should go to the back of the line. I turned around to see my accuser and I saw the line snaking away behind me, or more accurately, beside me. I had stood directly in front of the check in person because I only had carry-on but all those who came after me lined up with the scales just to the side of me leaving me standing by myself. I politely stated that I was there before the queue started and that I had not cut in line. I then turned around and stepped forward to the counter.
At this point, the man behind me accused me of getting special treatment because my skin was white and said that no one should be given preferential treatment because of his color. I have to admit that I was quite angered by his statement because he had to have known that I was already there before he had arrived, yet chose to falsely accuse me. I take my integrity seriously.
However, while I took offense at his accusation, I totally agreed with his statement. It is normal procedure to have your bag checked or to be patted down when you leave a store to make sure you have paid for all your items, yet not once that I remember have my bags been checked or my coat patted for contraband. I cringe every time I walk out of the store because of the distinction made based solely on the color of skin. I shrink away in shame when I hear someone ask for exceptions based solely on superficial appearance.
The heart of the matter should be just that; the heart. God doesn’t treat people different because they are black or white. He doesn’t treat people different because they are Melanesian or Western. He doesn’t treat people differently because they have money or they are poor. He doesn’t treat people differently because they wear a suit or because they have dreadlocks. He doesn’t treat people differently because they look trustworthy or because they look criminal.
It’s really the heart that matters and nothing superficial makes God treat people differently.
And neither should we.