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 the half-size carts to push. Folding my 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 again 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 and Prayer
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 what is in my heart and paint strips on a piece of white paper.
Pastor Elizabeth Myer Boulton shared her thoughts on color with the following essay: "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 on a particular color to carry with you for the day or 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 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 aisles 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 ...... Meijer, color, comfort.
1. Choose a day when you want to increase your awareness of God's presence by noting a color.
2. Start in the morning praying, "Today, God, I want to be aware of you as I observe _________ (name the color).
3. When I see (color) I can pray for someone, pray for myself, offer gratitude, ask to feel God's love or comfort or strength or healing or ask the Holy Spirit to enter my heart or whatever else comes. God will provide for your experience.
4. At the end of the day, spend a few minutes reflecting on your time with God and the color you chose, maybe writing a few words or sentences.
Prayer: God, we never know how we can be an unsuspecting vessel of your love as we run errands, go through stores, and libraries and the post office. Use us as you will to bring your message of love wherever we go. Amen.