Those of you who know me (or are familiar with my work), you know that I am a lifelong musician and songwriter…one who was greatly inspired by seeing “The Beatles” perform on The Ed Sullivan Show (yes, I am that old). I had recently started taking accordion lessons (at age 7), and so this was also the time that I realized (thanks to the Fab Four) that continuing to play the accordion was probably not a good idea….it just was not as cool as the drums or guitar, unless of course you were Weird Al Yankovic. He is pretty cool..I have to admit!!
Over the next few years, I started gradually moving to the organ (The Dave Clark Five’s lead singer played one…he was cool), then piano and added in guitar and bass, as well. To this day, I still play bass (or sometimes keyboard) on the contemporary worship team at our local church. I believe music was a gift of God, and I love “giving back to Him” by using it.
One of the other bands that I was influenced by, in my formative musical years, was the band “Chicago.” And of course, one of their most popular songs was called “Colour My World.”. It also just so happens to be one I sang regularly in almost every band I played with….so yeah…I’m familiar with it (LOL). But, I hear ya, “OK, enough about the name of this blog post…Bob. What in the world are you talking about, anyway?”
In my first book, “Unlocking Creation,” I took sixteen aspects of God’s creation and looked to see if the Lord had chosen to weave into the fabric of those “created things,” spiritual truths for us to discover…from which we could learn more about who He is. It was a study into “the divine nature of God” that used various created things (such as light vs. darkness, hot vs. cold, male vs. female, faith vs fear…etc.) as the blueprint.
But there was one aspect of creation that I did not cover in the book (maybe I should add it in..for the 2nd edition). That is the beauty of “color” (or “colour”…as Chicago preferred to spell it. FYI, “color” is the American English spelling….the rest of the English-speaking world prefers “colour”). And after hearing Rabbi Jonathan talk about his spiritual takeaway for why God created color, I said, “Hey, that should have been in the book!!.”
So, let’s start with an explanation of physical color. Why do our eyes see one thing as blue, another red, and yet another…white? It has to do with wavelengths of light, and which ones are absorbed by certain items and which ones are reflected back. Confused? I was too….so here is a good explanation from the website Pantone.com:
[The surface of the apple is reflecting the wavelengths we see as red and absorbing all the rest. An object appears white when it reflects all wavelengths…and black when it absorbs them all…By varying the amount of red, green and blue light, all of the colors in the visible spectrum can be produced.” (Courtesy of Pantone.com)]
[Since it is December 2nd, you knew I would toss something “Christmas-ee” in here…lol]
Ok, I will try to elaborate a little bit on the color “thingy” for clarity sake. The light that arrives here on Earth, from the sun, is made up of various wavelengths, and our eyes were designed by the Creator to interpret the various wavelengths as different colors. So, certain wavelengths are perceived by our eyes and brains as the three primary colors, red, blue and yellow. And various combinations of these three wavelengths result in varying degrees of color….and those possibilities are endless.
Hey, I remember when the Crayola 64 box came out. The idea of 64 colors blew my little mind. Now, computer displays are said to be able to show over 16 million colors…and our eyes can perceive the slight differences between all of those shades and minor variations. WOW-UH!!!
But…surprise, surprise…what I want to get to is the spiritual correlations of this beautiful aspect of the things created by the hand of the Lord God Almighty for our pleasure. He indeed, as the Bible says, is “the Giver of good things to His children.”
The first thing I want to talk about is this idea of absorbing light or reflecting it. I take that to mean that those wavelengths of light that are absorbed, or taken in (much like when we eat and drink…which is absorbed into our bodies and used for energy), they are consumed and used up (or at least not reflected back). So, as with the apple mentioned above, all the wavelengths were absorbed into the apple, except the wavelength that reflects as red (or yellow…if it is golden delicious…my fave).
And that leads me to my next point…what did we read regarding black and white? For our eyes to see the color black, all of the wavelengths are absorbed…none are reflected. Hmm..that does not sound good. But wait, when we see the color white, it is because the object is reflecting all of the wavelengths and absorbing none of them. Are you starting to see a spiritual connection yet? I am.
What color is associated with evil? Black, of course. We often hear of evil as being portrayed as darkness, right? And what color is often associated with righteousness? Why, white, obviously. Jesus comes back on a white horse. His beard is white. The redeemed are dressed in white robes…etc…etc. So, it seems there might be a connection between what we choose to absorb or take in and use for ourselves and that which we choose to give back. Wasn’t the rich man told to “Go and sell all you have?” It is a well-known spiritual principle, “It is better to give (or reflect) than receive” (or absorb).
Have you ever noticed that white cars seem to “hide the dirt” (as in covering sin), while black cars are said to “show the dirt” (as in remaining in sin), more readily. Both cars may be just as dirty, but the black one just looks dirtier. I am chuckling to myself, here, as I am typing these words because I drive a black car. Maybe if I had read this post first, I would have chosen differently!!
Anyway, the point I am trying to “drive home”…is that the Bible teaches that Jesus is “the light of the world.”. Much like the Sun provides light to Planet Earth…the Son of God shines His light on those who live on this “third rock from the Sun.” Just as all the wavelengths of light that light up our days come from one light source, spiritually speaking, all the various aspects of light we receive from our Lord also come from one source…God.
And yes, just as there are things that try to block the light of the Sun from reaching the earth (like clouds..or eclipses…for instance)….there are also forces at work that try to block out the light of the Lord from reaching our hearts.
But in the end, I am not surprised to say (having been a Christian now for almost forty years)…what matters is not how much light reaches us, but how much of the light we taken in (or consume for ourselves) and how much we are willing to reflect (or give back for the benefit of those around us).
If we keep it all to ourselves and ignore the ones with needs in our lives, the reflection others will see from us will be very dark (not good).
If we gave it all away (as the rich man was told to do), what others around us would see would be bright white (very good).
Now, I know that very few of us (if any) are likely to give everything they have away. I certainly have not gone to that extreme. And, of course, we are not just talking about money or possessions. I believe it relates to time and energy spent, as well. But here is the question:
Where, on the color scale, are you?
Are you one who absorbs most (or all) of the light of God that has shined down upon you? And yes, I believe His light shines on the believers and unbelievers alike…and again, it is what they do with it that matters.
Or are you one who enjoys “giving back out of your abundance?” One who is likely to take what God blesses you with, take what you need, and give back (reflect) what you can to make a difference in the world around you. In His famous “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus spoke these words:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV]
I would say that is something to think about. For we all know…”You can’t take it with you.” The words of the Lord seem to indicate that whatever light we “reflect back” (or allow to be seen by others) not only benefits those in need, but glorify God, as well. Apparently, that does not happen when we absorb it all or keep it to ourselves.
So, can we look at the wonders of light and it’s many beautiful colors and conclude that, in a way, God may have been teaching us that “it is better to give than receive?”
I know that Rabbi Jonathan Cahn thinks so, and I tend to agree with him.
I just find it amusing that the Creator of the universe, long before you or I (or anyone else) arrived on the scene…made His use of color in all of His creations to be similar to those old “spaghetti westerns,” where the bad guys usually wore a black hat and had names like “Black Bart”….while the good guy who saves the day usually wore the white hat.
And they say God doesn’t have a sense of humor….yeah right.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!
(author of “Unlocking Creation” and “The Red Letter Parables”. and the soon-to-be-released “God’s Nature and the End Of The Age”)