Growing up a ‘creamie’, Isaac Harrison knows God loves all skin colours.
On my father’s side, I have white Australian, English and Scottish heritage. On my mother’s side, I’m descended from the Kabi Kabi and the Butchulla tribes.
I grew up on the Sunshine Coast (Qld) being called a creamie or half-caste—the name given to children of mixed blood. Growing up with the background of the wrong done to Aboriginal people, hurt was passed down from my grandparents, from their grandparents. They would say, ‘Don’t trust your white father’ and I grew up thinking that was normal.
My uncle was a witchdoctor and my granddad used to use black magic for healing if someone was ill. Nan left my grandfather because he was physically abusive. He worked on the railroads in the cane fields in Queensland and on the grog he was abusive—a common trait to use alcohol to numb pain.
It was my Nan who helped me get past the idea of hating authority—she was a Salvation Army girl. The Salvation Army took Nan in. Even now, when you walk past her granny flat you can hear her praying for her 60+ grandkids.
Growing up with a hybrid of strong Aboriginal culture and then strong Judeo-Christian heritage, people thought the cultures would clash but following Jesus as king is just like obeying our elders.
There were times where I’ve gone to commit a crime and would be walking down a road when everything would go dead quiet. I would feel fear—not like a scared-at-night feeling—it was more like ‘Do not do what you are about to do’.
I could see that God was saying that if I took that road, it would be the start of things that would have ended crazy.
I’ve been glassed at parties and have a small scar on my head. I’ve had massive blood loss and been close to having alcohol poisoning.
One time I was coming out of a casino, a beer in one hand. There was a street preacher, telling us to turn from our wicked ways. I listened, because I grew up knowing that sort of strong preaching.
The preacher was from my home town of Hervey Bay and invited me to go to church, but I didn’t go. The next week, a guy knocked on my door selling insulation. I said, ‘No thanks’ and he said, ‘Can I pray for you?’ and he prophesied about all sorts of things no-one could have known.
I was working at a gym at the time and one lunch break another man came up to me and said, ‘Hey brother, can I pray for you?’ I’m like, “Okay”. I knew God was calling me back to him and I knew that I was going to live not according to my own ideas of what life is and what success is, but just want what God wants.
I realised that no matter what I do in my life—I might have fun—but without the God who created me I’m not really going to have full peace. I returned to following Jesus and I haven’t looked back.
When God looks into me, he sees two bloodlines and two cultures as one. I’m passionate about getting out into our community and helping people know their creator, to know their God loves them.
I think heaven will be like pixels on a screen. We will be one redeemed tribe, with Aboriginal people alongside Chinese, Indians and English. God loves that even when there are many pixels on the screen, it’s just one picture with lots of colours.
That idea excites me—that we will all be one, but still different.