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a246: Pina relays an unexpected question (fwd)

From: kevin pina <kpinbox@hotmail.com>

It is a beautiful sunday morning in Port au Prince as I sip my coffee and
listen to the songs emanating from several churches in my neighborhood. At
moments their music actually seems to find a common key while at others the
cacophony is clearly an auditory competition for God's attention.

The symbols of spirituality take on a special importance for me today as I
continue to ponder a question asked by a dear Haitian friend only yesterday.
She asked "Do you think God is a white man"? I then had to ask her why the
question had become so important in the first place. She replied that a
member of her congregation had been asked to leave last week because he said
that God was actually a black man. According to her, the congregation and
the minister, also a black man, had a near riot after this man said that as
long as they kept worshipping an image of a white Jesus and white God Haiti
would never be truly independent.

Being from Oakland,California, my first instinct was to relay the
politically correct response including devotional rainbows and spiritual
lollipops. "God has many faces and all of them are beautiful" has been my
personal mantra for quite sometime now. However, I resisted the urge to be
didactic and asked her what she thought. My friend said that she knows that
most Haitians actually do believe that God is a white man and wondered out
loud "why couldn't God just as easily be black"? I reflected and thought to
myself "now this is a truly interesting beginning of what is sure to be a
wonderful journey for her". Sometimes asking the right questions can be more
important than having all the answers.

Best Regards to everyone for the New Year!!

Kevin Pina

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