About the Author

Michelle Reyes, Ph.D., is an Indian American pastor’s wife, writer, and activist. She is also the Vice President of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and writes regularly on faith, culture, and justice. Michelle lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two kids. Follow her on IG @michelleamireyes.

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  1. Michelle,
    I KNOW when we get to heaven there is going to be such a beautiful array of colors and cultures. I believe that is why God ordained the tribes to scatter unto all the ends of the earth so that the world might know Him. I pray that we won’t have to wait until heaven to see the Christ-beauty that is inside our brothers and sisters. Oh how boring a world it would be if we all looked, talked, and thought the same. So sorry for how you have been treated. Please know that there are others who think with a more enlightened perspective. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Sadly as much as we say we are all made in the image of God, that’s not all people see. Many are constantly looking for things that are different, things that divide rather than unite us. I lived in the Bronx in New York City and I am Puerto Rican. I thank God for the block I grew up in and the diversity of friends we had. We didn’t look at color, nationality or anything else because we learned from our different cultures and accepted one another as we were. Yet, any time I went out of my area and I mentioned where I was from, I saw a change at how I was looked upon. Love, unity and acceptance of others are just a few lessons Christ left us to follow. He ate and spent time among many outcasts and He welcomed them and made them a part of His journey. Until we learn to do the same people will continue to feel shunned and unworthy.

      • Oh, Miriam, I’m so sorry for what you’ve experienced. I wish I could give you a big hug! And you are so right – Jesus is our model. To truly be a follower of Jesus means that we see color, honor it, appreciate it because who we are – with our skin colors, ethnicities, and stories – is exactly how we reflect the image of God. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  2. I have always believed that we are all the same on the inside regardless of what we look like on the outside. Growing up on a farm, al, the animals were different, they were all loved, fed, treated the same. Maybe I was sheltered? Yes, I come from a predominately white community, however, it was not until I moved from there that I saw others treating each other cruel because of their ethnicity! It came from all sides! I truly believe that God is One—- not man, woman, any particular color or race, but ALL! He made us in His image! What does that tell us? Everyone of us is made in His image! A masterpiece after His image! Now, it is up to us to humble our proud selves, and each of us a problem with pride, and ask for forgiveness, start loving one another as we are loved by the One who died for us and start showing our fruits, growing as followers of Christ and walking a mile in His footsteps! Let’s quit looking at our differences and look at our Lord and Savior! I was bullied and laughed at, called a monster because of a facial deformity from 2nd grade on. Everyone has problems, it is how we choose to deal with them that makes the difference. I choose God, how about you?

  3. By the way, you are a beautiful woman! Just look in the mirror and see how your Father sees you ❤️!

  4. Our home, we are intentionally creating, is building something. Ours, my husband and mine, protects heads and hearts. You are always welcome in our home. And we’d love to learn about that which we are unfamiliar with and believe is aligned with “all that is good”. What a blessing you were to those young people. The Crayola pack has many shades. I love getting to apply new colors and see how they change the picture. What richness!! Love, The Herman’s

  5. I am so sorry you had to endure that but you have embraced your differences with the Grace of God. Thank you so much for turning something so ugly into something positive by emphasizing others’ God given duversities. It never would cross my mind to hold another human being responsible for this pandemic because of their heritage. You are a beautiful person!!

    • Thank you, Sharon! And right?? There is no logical, biological, or any other justification for treating Chinese people (or Asians in general) for the coronavirus. The Asian American community as a whole is hurting right now. But also the Black community. Too many senseless and horrific tragedies because people did not love and value the imago dei in all peoples. May God continue to heal us, protect us and make us resilient. Home is coming. And so is justice.

  6. I am white skinned. My Mum and Dad took me out of a Primary school at p5 for what they thought was my own good. Sent me to a school which was small at the time. It was mainly a boys school starting to let a few girls into for the last two years of my primary years. I never liked the school. I was builled at the school not that badly. Just because I didn’t want to join in the game the people in class were playing this day. Nothing too do with the teacher of the class room. The whole class I don’t know who started it called me a name to do with my sir name in that day. They thought it was funny. I never once told my Parents until my Mum said Dawn your not yourself lately. Something up. I had to tell her then. So I told her. The headmaster my Dad went to see him about it. Just said kid will be kids or something like that. It hurt badly. Only my Mum had be change Schools to a secondary school she knew I be happy in when I finished the last 2 years of primary school there. Which from the day I went I never liked it. My parents thought they where doing me good by sending me there because the class rooms where smaller. I get better teaching. Far from it. I was treated badly in my eyes by the other pupils. The Secondary School I went to I made lovely Friends. I found Scripture Union in the School at Lunch time which I loved. I think I found Jesus asked one of teacher how do you get saved. But would not have been a proper Christian. Not have known you needed to read your Bible and say your Prayers. But I loved the Bible stories at Scripture Union at Lunch time the Prayers and the songs we used to sing at it things like Jesus is the name we honur. This is the day and I am a new creation song like that. I love it with all my heart. I knew I was in the right Secondary School. It all was stuck with me that Primary School and the way I was treated. Until I found my true Church the Salvation Army and the Officer of it she took me one side told me. Which is same for you. You Dawn are Beautiful in Gods eyes. What happened then in that Primary School you have to forgive them. Which I did in prayer on to God. A weight lifed of my shoulders. My Salvation Army Officer told me I was Daughter of the King. That King was Jesus. Told me watch on youtube the Father’s Love Letter. I did that to hear what God really thinks of me. Through watching that changed Me. What God really thinks of me is all that matters. Not what anyone else this of us. No matter what our skin color our looks. We are loved by the King of Kings Jesus. We that are saved and the unsaved especially if we remember that if saved and live life for Jesus. It don’t matter what the world thinks or says about us. Only what Jesus says about that matters. I say Amen to that. Thank you for todays reading Love Dawn Ferguson-Little. Xx

  7. This was a very insightful post. However, the individuals that I spend most of my time with have a variety of disabilities and they are excluded from other Christians. Independent of what ethnic group they are from there is widespread discrimination from even most houses of faith solely based on their disability. The Gallup Poll states that 20% of the population has a disability and a large portion of those never are involved in church life because of lack of transportation, “inadequate” social skills, or a feeling of not being included or wanted. May the Lord forgive us for blatantly (or in ignorance) not reaching out to the “least of these”. The parts of the body are ALL essential!

    • Amen, Kathi! Every person is made in the image of God. Period. I’m so sorry for the ways that your friends have been treated. I understand their pain in a way. The way they’ve been discriminated against is wrong. And I’m grateful that you are raising your voice in support and solidarity with them!

  8. Michelle, looking at your picture, I cannot imagine that you were anything but beautiful as a child! Those were lies, told by very small people. It makes me feel ashamed that you have ever had to experience such awfulness! And the thought that you must endure even more now? It’s unpardonable. May you be richly blessed in your life and surrounded by people who appreciate the lovely person you are, inside and out.

    • Thank you, Irene! It’s not always easy sharing stories from my past, but I do in the hope that it will encourage fellow sisters in their own journeys. I’ve walked this path already. I know the pain, but also God’s healing hand, and I want other women to experience this too.

  9. Michelle,

    My heart has been marked by your story. I hate (and I don’t use that word lightly) that you were tormented for your ethnic identity and were made to feel so on the outside. But I love that God is always working to redeem and restore all things and that you’ve had a sweet taste of that this side of heaven. And my heart stirred when I read your closing words, “Home is coming for all of us.” Amen, sister-friend. There is a deeper mooluk waiting for us all. I yearn for it too.

    Love you.
    -Becky

  10. Michelle, thank you for sharing your story. I’m an Indian who came to America as an adult, but my son is growing up here. He faces bullying in school (a Christian school in California!) due to his skin color. I can relate to you.
    We are all beautiful, no matter what color our skin is, because God breathed not just life, but beauty in us. Our ethnic DNAs are His gifts to us and part of our spiritual identities as God’s beloved children.

    • Hi Mabel! It’s so nice to meet you! I’m so sorry for what you and your son is going through. I hate that. I hate that this is a cycle on repeat. My own son has experienced racial bullying too. It is never ok. Making fun of someone’s skin color is never ok. I’d love to chat more personally – reach out, if you want to! I think we could be an encouragement to each other. And I will be praying for your son too. May he know God’s nearness. May he know how loved and special he is. And may God change the hearts and minds of the bullies at school. Here for you, sister.

  11. Michelle,
    Young people are often cruel towards one another. They think nothing of making fun of someone or calling someone names. Trouble is it hurts. Sometimes enough to cause that person to hurt themselves. It’s been that way for many a year. I was hoping & praying we’d be over all that by now, but sadly no. It grieves me that we can’t get along in the late 20th century. Still so much disunity & hatred. So sorry you had to endure those ugly comments. They don’t realize how badly they hurt you & your soul. Praise God you found Mooluk this side of heaven. One day we will all have mooluk in Heaven & love on each other.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Amen, Beth! Kids…and adults!…can be so cruel with their words and ignorant of its effects. I still pray like Christ, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” while also raising my voice and educating people to why these words are wrong. We can do both.

  12. Michelle,
    ” Home is coming for all of us. ”
    That’s so weighty. It feels massive while at the same time promises some relief. <>
    Thank you.
    Shalom

    • Amen, sister! I’ve been feeling this weight especially lately. These past few weeks with horrific tragedies and losses of life of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and more. I have hope in God’s justice and the future home he is creating for us where all things will be restored.

  13. Dear Michelle, I feel so badly that we who call ourselves Christians can still inflict so much pain on others, whatever the colour of skin or other “differences” . When my son was small he asked for ink to make his hair black, because the boys at school teased him and called him Whitey – just because he had very fair (and curly) hair. Such a small thing in comparison with your consistent pain, I know. But my heart goes out ot you and I hope you can also feel at home in what is a prodominantly white society too. You are truly a beautiful lady, both inside and out. And yes, as someone above has said, You are e Daughter of the King and Lord. May God continue to bless you and keep you.
    Camilla

    • Thank you, Camilla, for your encouragement! It truly is heartbreaking that these kinds of racist words and behavior are committed by Christians too. The school I attended growing up was Christian. That is my prayer too – that God will change the hearts and minds of those who profess Jesus as Lord, so that we may see, value, and honor the imago dei in every person and every skin color.

  14. Michelle,

    Wow. It makes me so sad to read this post in a way. I know that, as a Southern, fried-chicken, cornbread white chick, I can’t identify with the pain and loneliness that you experienced growing up and have experienced recently–all of it so unjustified. God’s kingdom is going to be so beautiful, with all tongues, tribes and nations worshiping him.

    Thank You for always sharing what’s on your heart. I truly do enjoy your posts.