Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Kingdom of God is like ....... Meijer, Color, Comfort

When I reached the entrance to Meijer dodging raindrops and splashing my canvas shoes into puddles, I experienced relief. Shaking the rain off my umbrella in the side entrance, I found one of those half carts to push. Folding my soaked umbrella into the basket I collected my frazzled brain to recall what I needed.

"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,'
(Luke 11:1-4)

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.

Prayer: God, we never know how we can be a vessel of your love as we run errands, going through stores and libraries and the post office. Use us as you will to bring the message of love wherever we go. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I have walked around all day thinking of turquoise and yellow! Yesterday, I found a vintage white mug with vertical white stripes and thought, "Here is my yellow. Perhaps this is my yellow day?" Thanks for yet another wonderful contemplative exercise. You give so many practical ideas for increasing intimacy with God.