Sunday, April 19, 2015
The Kingdom of God is like ....... Meijer, Color, Comfort
"I like your umbrella," a voice said behind me. "The color is comforting.
I turned around and saw an elderly woman, the Meijer greeter, wearing a bright red vest. She looked tired and steadied herself against the pole corralling all of the shopping carts.
"Oh, thank you," I replied, astonished my cheap, teal-colored umbrella brought comfort to a weary soul.
Color has a way of invoking responses, as this kind lady demonstrated. Sometimes when I cannot find words to express what I am feeling, I turn to the small box of Crayola paints resting on my windowsill. I find a color or colors that connect with my heart and start painting strips on a piece of white paper.
Elizabeth Myer Boulton, a pastor and wife of the president of Christian Theological Seminary, wrote the following called "Ode to Yellow":
"Sometimes I find it hard to pray. I know that may sound odd coming from a pastor, but it's true. If Jesus were standing beside me, one of the first questions I would ask is, 'Lord, teach us how to pray,'
In my imagination, Jesus answers that request with something like this: 'One way to go about praying, my dear, is to focus in on a particular color to carry with you for the day or for the week. Pray through that color. Pick one and pray through it.'
So, my color today is yellow. I will learn to pray through the color yellow. I will give thanks to God for the bright yellow rays of the sun. I will say a special prayer for the Haitian man driving the yellow taxi cab going down the street. I will pray for the woman on the park bench wearing a yellow hat.
Today, every time I see the color yellow, I will lift up a prayer of healing, of comfort, of protection, of thanksgiving for a God who teaches us how to pray."
Perhaps the Meijer greeter was praying through teal or maybe in the moment I walked into the store, she was sad or lonely or dealing with a circumstance where her heart was hurting.
As I walked up and down the aisle choosing groceries, I carried her words with me, reflecting how walking into Meijer on a rainy day, with my five dollar umbrella, brought her comfort. The kingdom of God is like this ....unsuspecting connection serendipitously.