The Colors of the World

Genesis 1:3 ESV:  “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

As I drove into work this morning, the air was crisp and clean from heavy rainstorms yesterday.  A light mist hovered above the ground, especially in low-lying areas between the hills, and the sun sparkled off of dew-kissed leaves.  Privileged to be able to experience the sounds, smells, and sights of the morning, I began to think about how I could explain color to those who had never seen or experienced it.  How would I describe the blue of the sky, the bright yellow sunflowers, or the color of the mist in the fields?  What words would best describe the fluffy white clouds that dotted the sky?  What experiences could be put into words to detail the green of the grass?  And as I thought, I came up with a list of colors for which I could provide words to the blind so that they, too, might share their beauty.

Blue is the cool, crisp moisture of chilled ice-water as it caresses your parched throat or a gentle, rain that drenches your face on a warm afternoon.

White is the bitterness of a winter wind, its icy needles stinging your skin.

Yellow is the warmth of the sunshine as you bask in the sun, face turned to its rays.

Red is the tingling heat of a roaring fire or the pungent, musky smell of a rose in bloom.

Green is the feathery touch of a blade of grass, the smell of newly mowed lawns, and prickly needles of a pine tree.

Brown is the rough bark of a tree, the aroma of fresh coffee beans, and the taste of maple syrup.

Orange is the oily citrus of a peeled orange; the tart sweetness of a pink grapefruit; and the warm, tangy juiciness of a tangerine.

Gray is a fluffy cotton ball; the soft gentle whisper of a bird’s wings in flight; and the morning dew in the sunlight.

Silver is the cool, smooth surface of a refrigerator door or the gossamer, silken thread of a spider’s web.

Black is the empty, hollow sound of an amphitheater room or the fuzzy, hard surface of a sunflower seed.

Purple is the color of passion, a simultaneous, mixed-up feeling of both hot and cold; and yet purple is the unmistakable strong, “clean,” sweet fragrance of lilacs in bloom.

According to the World Health Organization, 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide.  Of those, 39 million are totally blind, and 246 have low vision.  When you stop to consider the implications of total blindness, thirty nine million individuals who have never seen color is a staggering statistic!  Even more staggering is the fact that so MANY of us take our sight for granted – we have always had sight, we wake up every morning able to see the sunshine, and we bask in the myriad of colors that belong to our rain-bowed world.  Yet, rarely, do we realize how our other senses capture the essence and beauty of the colors around us and how little effort is required to share that beauty with those less fortunate.

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The Search for God

This morning, I asked my son why he had become so anti-Christian considering his upbringing and his love for God when he was younger. His response to me was, “Because God doesn’t exist.” I asked him why he felt that way and his response was, “Because he never answered me when I asked him for things when I was younger.”

As a parent, my logical response to this is: “As a child, when you ask your parent for things merely because you ‘want’ them, do you always get them? When your parents do not respond to your ‘demands’ or choose to say ‘NO’, do your parents suddenly cease to exist because they have said ‘NO’?” As children of God (our Father), the same holds true. When we make “empty” (i.e., not from the heart) demands of our Father for things that are of no or little value, our Father responds as a responsible parent. When we, however, ask from the heart, patiently WAIT for a response, and open ourselves to actually HEAR that response, our Father is gracefully giving.

I have many friends and family members who are not Christians. That is their choice. As a Christian, it is NOT my responsibility to chase those individuals and force them to believe as I do, nor is it my responsibility to SAVE those individuals. My responsibility ends when I deliver our Father’s message. And while it makes my heart ache fiercely to see so many of those I love wandering aimlessly, emptily, and randomly in a mortal life with a PROMISE of eternal life just dangling like a carrot on a stick, I can neither force those individuals to reach out and take the carrot nor to LISTEN with their heart to find the truth.

I am a Christian. I believe in God. Your choice to not believe does NOT make my Father instantly cease to exist. I have a mortal mother and a father, both of whom are now deceased. Just because my mortal mother and father are dead does not mean that they never existed. If I were ever to tell somebody that their loved one did not exist just because that loved one were dead, I’d have a major fight on my hands and possibly a lifelong enemy! Just because you choose to deny that your eternal father does not exist, does not mean that he does not exist for me. I would NEVER dare to tell you that your parents do not exist. The point is, just because we can’t physically see or touch something does not mean it does not exist. The spirit sees all, while the narrow view from the mind hides most of it.

We cannot see the air we breathe, yet we KNOW it is there and we breathe it to survive every day. We cannot “see” music, and yet we know it is there because we CHOOSE to hear it. Even those who are deaf CHOOSE to hear it through the vibrations they FEEL. We cannot see the viruses that make us ill unless we use a high tech device to enable us to do so, and yet we know they exist. We know those viruses exist because we CHOOSE to know they exist. We feel a vast array of emotions, but we cannot SEE them or TOUCH them. And yet we never once deny their existence. We go through a lifetime existing in a world with hundreds, even thousands, of “things” that we cannot see or touch, and yet we never ONCE deny their existence – atoms, subatomic particles, electromagnetic waves, freedom, the edge of the universe.

Not one of us can deny the inner drive to discover our purpose, to live a life that means something and will be remembered, or to make a difference on the world in which we live. For once, I ask you to stop and consider this question, “Do you honestly think it is by ‘chance’ or by ‘destiny’ that humans are the only species capable of abstract thought and complex creation such that we have the unique ability to drive cars, program computers, perform complex surgeries that save lives, travel to the moon, create test tube babies, and so many other amazing feats that are beyond the capability of the billions of species that co-inhabit this earth?” Those abilities were granted not “by chance.”

“IT IS ONLY WITH THE HEART THAT ONE CAN SEE CLEARLY . WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYE”. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery