I wrote this prayer some twenty years ago. It appears in Race and Prayer: Collected Voices, Many Dreams edited by Malcolm Boyd and Chester Talton.
The first of Africa’s children
my daughter looked at up close
was the strong and cheerful man
who lives as near neighbor to our church.
She, a pale-ivory girl three years old,
was amazed to see,
close before her, human skin
in a different flavor: chocolate.
A father himself,
this man invited her to touch his wrist
(like Jesus with Thomas)
and see that this color was permanent;
she cannot rub it off.
He smiled and laughed,
And so did she.
may it always be so with us,
that like you,
we may rejoice in our unity
and delight in our diversity.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington