Confession: I have worn red socks 7 out of the last nine days. I even did laundry just so I would have red socks clean. I didn’t realize I was doing this, until I found myself rooting in my sock drawer for another pair as an answer to today’s make-up drawer bypass. When I had to put my socks down on the counter to open the toothpaste, I realized I had done that. I had been doing that all week as some kind of consolation.
I miss the colors of my make-up bag very much. They have always been a joyful part of my day. I was probably 25 before I knew I was supposed to be doing make-up to attract the attention of men. I always did it for my own delight because I loved the color and texture of it. A friend and I believe make-up is actually paint. For grown ups. That you can wear. Can you believe how lucky we are?
This summer, I did some thinking about my relationship to creativity and color:
“Beauty and celebration—no matter who you are— are two key components to a living, dynamic worship. Without them, we’re condemned to trite lyrics and rearranged C,G,& E chords. Exercising creativity is an act of participation in the beauty and celebration that God offers as part of the Abundant Life. We collect and assemble and color and contrast and words because it’s all wecando in response to what God has already made and done. Our creativity is a response to the Joy and Gift of being alive—being alive on this day, in this place, with these people.
What have we to do but hallow the hues? You know I’ve already done this with the color red. Red triggers in me joy and affection beyond all reason. I watered some geraniums this morning that were so red, I heard myself say “thank you” aloud. (Fortunately, I was alone and only the geraniums heard, but if anyone else heard and thinks I’m crazy, I cite the well-known fact that talking to plants produces carbon dioxide that helps them grow. So there.)
Living colorfully means re-naming every color in the box Emmanuel.God is here in the tangerine rose. Here, in the ombre blues of the bay. Here in these gold hills, in that emerald leaf—so very present in that perfect lipstick red that we are rendered helpless in the waves of Holy gratitude.
We create so that we can participate in that which is so beautiful, it is Holy. As we create we usher in the Holy presence of God with the colors, textures, sounds, notes, and words. We glue paper, wave paintbrushes, snap shutters, and pluck strings because, if we do it right, it can have the power of the ancient liturgy. With enough practice, we can see and hear beyond the color patches, beyond ourselves to the One who gave us this life, by His grace, in the first place.”
One of the things I’m most looking forward to in heaven is the possibility that there will be colors I’ve never seen, and that we might spend eternity discovering new ones.
Socks are not a sufficient consolation for having to live without some of my favorite colors. On Resurrection Sunday I’ll get my colors back. I really can’t wait.
But more than that, I can’t wait for the explosion of beauty, joy, and color that awaits the end of our days when we behold the fullness of God’s glory.
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