Color makes me happy.
I’ve gravitated to bright colors all my life. Where Mom loved avocado green for most of her days (she graduated to purple in her last years), I’ve always enjoyed the deep jewel tones of red, blue, and green–and anything bright and cheery.
The very first piece of clothing I bought on my own was a bright red shirt. Really bright. I remember one kid at school–those snarky comments you never forget–said, with his hands shading his eyes, “Gonna need sunglasses to look at you.”
I never wore that shirt to school again.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve cared less about the comments of others concerning my color selections. At different times in my married life, I’ve painted rooms bright colors that made me smile. Or reflected other emotions. One of my daughters now is a bright-color aficionado, and her home pops with color. Bright and cheery.
When we painted the inside of our downstairs, however, I found I gravitated toward a pure gray. At a time when life felt very unsettled, this seemed a solution to calm my exterior so it would affect my personal interior.
But too much gray was boring. We’ve added spots of color here and there that maintain the calm but add the spice.
Color is an expression of who we are, our emotions, our perspectives, our dreams.
I think it’s why I love kaleidoscopes so much. As a kid, turning the knob to watch the colors morph into new shapes and hues was fascinating. The smallest turn would produce a whole new picture, unexpected and beautiful.
We all look at the world through our own color grids, which have been shaped by who we are and where we’ve come from. There are those who’ve been raised with bright, daring colors, and others by more temperate hues.
It’s a source of disagreement, but it’s who we are.
Even in the world of faith, we are hampered by how our different grids operate. As a Jesus follower, I want my perspective to be more of a big picture, seeing individuals for who they really are, how unique and amazing everyone is, as Jesus sees us.
I confess I’m not always successful. I’m easily drawn into finger-pointing and putting distance between me and those who don’t agree with me. I hate being put into a box, especially when it’s inaccurate. Lumping me with all others who claim the same faith as I do isn’t taking the time to know me. To understand my journey, my story.
I’m not a perfect reflection of the God who loves me.
The bigger problem for the world is that folks have forgotten to look at Jesus and see Him as who He claims to be–God. Awesome, all-powerful, good. Instead, they point at His followers, who are anything but all good and perfect. We mess up–everyone does.
What we have as His followers are grace and forgiveness. A love that can’t be explained by the world’s definition; an unconditional, fully-forgiving commitment from the God of the universe.
Jesus embraces our differences–color, thoughts, backgrounds, dreams. No one is beyond the reach of His love.
That is one cosmic kaleidoscope of awesome.