Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today I am not only wearing some green but even have some shamrocks on my shirt. The ironic thing, is that I got dressed and headed off to the hospital to pray for someone pre-surgery before I even knew it was St. Patty’s Day. How lucky is that!?
But this morning, my blog is a tribute to green and all that it seems to mean to the culture around us. For many in Michigan, green is the main color of their favorite university that happens to be rated fairly high in a particular basketball tournament that begins this week. Many will be wearing green, not merely to avoid getting pinched for St. Patrick’s day but also to show their support for Michigan State University basketball.
I have been noticing green around our new home. Since we moved in August into the woods, we missed this Spring transition last year, and it is fun to see various plants cropping up around our house. In this sense, the color green often symbolizes new life. Having been shaped significantly by the woods, loving my botany class as a freshman, and enduring long Michigan winters, the color green is pretty important to me.
But in our culture green also is a symbol of a couple of other things that seem to have a strong impact on society. Green is the color of money and the color of envy. I don’t know who gets to decide that red is love, black is sin, white is purity, and green gets envy. But it seems like green got the raw end of that deal. And it seems funny that our money is green and envy is figuratively pictured the same color. I can only assume that there may be some correlation.
Our money is green and God just calmed my soul with money earlier this week. I recently received some news that troubled me and brought me to prayer in disappointment. It seems likely that our church’s building project is going to be significantly more than what we were originally quoted which requires us to go back to the drawing board and consider either more time or even less building. The next morning I woke up and just poured my heart out to God about this. I know it is in His hands and I do not want to push ahead while he says hold back, but many of the people of ReCAST are being pressed hard to make our current facility work.
Later in the day, after I spent the morning in prayer, the counters came in to count the offering from Sunday and the green showed a near record week of generosity that was nearly double our average MONTHLY expenses. And it was like God said, “Chill, Don! I’ve got this in my timing.”
But my past observations about green on this very green day, is one of my favorite songs by the late Rich Mullins, simply entitled “The Color Green” (and that is a hyperlink to the YouTube song). I love the way that Rich Mullins thought about life in fresh and new ways. He rightly identifies that there need not be color, or taste, or any of the things that make life enjoyable. And so he declares in praise to God in the chorus of this song, “Be praised for all your tenderness, by these works of your hands, Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life your land, look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that you have made, blue for the sky and the color green . . . That fills these fields with praise!”
The color green was God’s idea. And the very presence of its beauty in creation shines out and openly declares that God loves us and is gracious toward us. He has paid attention to the details that we often take for granted. The world could easily be grayscale, but he has made green and all the other colors, to jazz up the place, and for that I am thankful!