Last week a friend invited me to participate in a 7 day photo challenge. After 4 days, I quit seeing. Nothing wrong with me eyesight I just seemed to stop noticing beautiful, colourful things. I even took a photo of forsythia that came out greyish. Probably the photo’s colouring had to do with the time of day I took the picture, but at the time, it just seemed the world had actually gone grey.
This happened to me once before. Actually I quit dreaming in colour, and I always dream in colour. So my husband gave me an art class, and I started dreaming in colour again.
How colour came back this time: This week a coworker/friend and I had planned to walk during lunch, and thirty minutes before the drizzly rain turned to a downpour. We decided to meet in my office. By the time lunch rolled around, beautiful sunshine and blue skies prevailed. We walked and talked. My phone was in my pocket, so I could keep up with the time. All of a sudden I looked over at the facade of a school that is being renovated/replaced, and it had blue sky peaking through the vacant windows and forsythia decorating and brightening outside. This photo doesn’t do justice to the beauty.
To take the photo I interrupted my friend, so I explained my falling off the photo challenge bandwagon. As we meandered, she pointed out her favourite trees, and we delighted in the spring flowers showing. We also talked about important things, real life. She uses language of being centred. What centres the two of us is different, but her words helped my mind and, way more challenging to reign in and recentre, my emotions to reset on Jesus’ love, power, goodness, and ableness. By the end of the walk and talk, I was seeing colours again; beautiful, messy, lively yellows, oranges, blues, 50 shades of green, pinks and purples.
Simultaneously, I have been reading A Corner of White and this letter written by the protagonist, Madeleine, enlightened me into what happened on this walk.
There are true colours, and those are made of light. They come from the sun, and if they hit the rain in a certain way, that’s a rainbow. If you could take light in both your hands and fan it out, you’d see true colours, lining up, blending at the edges. (You can make your own rainbow. Just let the sun shine through water or glass. Did you know?)
Then there are what I call flat colours. They’re the kind we see around us. Like that bag over there is red and white striped and that banana is (partly) yellow (mostly black), and the tiles in the kitchen are an unbelievably disgusting mottled pink, like salmon that got old, died, and then ate a boiled beetroot.
Now if I’m understanding it properly, what the flat colours are is just a sort of conversation with light. Cause when light hits an object it’s like it offers the object its handful of true colours , and the object says yes to some and no to the rest. So, some it absorbs (eats, takes in, loves, whatever) and the others it throws right back.
The colours that it throws back are the ones we see. The banana is yellow because the banana ate all the other colours but did not want the yellow.
Jacklyn Moriarty A Corner of White, p. 189-190
My heart recentred on Jesus and the true colours of the world, of my life, of my situations, of Christ could shine through. Why was I settling for flat colours? Why does anyone? Rather than being in conversation with what makes life beautiful, I want the light from the Son to hit my life and fan out to show His true colours, blend my ragged edges.
Until this day, I’ve never considered Cyndi Lauper’s True Colours as a worship song, but if I imagine that the lyrics are sung by God over people then it works. He wants who we are created to be to shine through to show the portion of the image of God that He has given us. I can hear the Spirit sing:
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colours
I see your true colours
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colours
True colours are shining through
So my photo challenge and colour underlying thoughts mixed today as I took a walk with a coworker/friend, and I started seeing and more importantly noticing the beauty of creation all around. Sunshine and spring flowers helped; her kind and honest presence delighted and inspired (helped breathe some Spirit in to me).
The school has been torn down except for the facade. Boards are nailed together as a barrier. The clouds and blue sky shine through the facade and the forsythia decorates the worksite. Even when destruction and reconstruction are happening, light and colour joyfully beautify. These colours moved me to have a conversation with the One who has thrown His true colours everywhere.
I do not want to stop seeing colour.
I do not want to miss the glory of the Creator while walking through pain.
I want to reflect His true colours and to radiate the relationship I have with Him.
Moses veiled his face after talking with God because the shining of God’s shekinah glory left on Moses’ radiant face frightened the Children of Israel. We too can reflect the glory of God, to have more than a conversation with His greatness and goodness.
But whenever he went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the LORD, he would remove the veil until he came out again. Then he would give the people whatever instructions the LORD had given him, and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. So he would put the veil over his face until he returned to speak with the LORD. Exodus 34:34-35
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
A person’s true colours will always show through. What are mine showing?
Grey forsythia and some of the beauty from our walk.