When you look at the world as you take your brisk morning walk or you step off the plane in a far-off land, what do you notice first? Well, if you are like me, you noticed the vibrancy of the landscape. The pinks of the flowers and leaves; the blueness of the sky; the kaleidoscope of color trapped in a single dewy drop of water. You take in the colors of the world all at once, far too much to break down one by one and far too beautiful on their own to be taken as just a whole picture... and, again like me, maybe this brings forth an overwhelming flood of emotion and you shed a few tears.
I love colors. I love them ALMOST indiscriminately (though a rich mustardy yellow is probably my favorite). I love blues, reds, purples, pinks, black, and even greys and whites. I am so thankful for the ability to witness the depth of God's love for us and the care he has put into each and every color and variance. Really, I would say that it is the best way to really understand the complexity of God, Himself!
"Why is that?" you might ask. Well, quite simply, colors mean so much more than just a pretty shade or a pleasant view. Let's look at some of the meanings of certain colors in the Bible to highlight why color is so important to understanding God!
Red is a common color in the Bible. We first find it mentioned in Genesis 25:25,
"The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau." – Genesis 25:25 (NLT)
The word from which Esau's name was derived is "oudem" which meant "red clay". This is also the root word for which the names "Adam" and "Edom" were also derived. This root word has been used to refer to blood and flesh; we we can understand that this word refers to man; red being the color of flesh or the lifeblood of man.
Blue, the color of the unobstructed sky; of crystal clear water. Truly the color of the portals which peer straight into heavy, blue is the color that we can associate with our hope and connection to God. It draws us in as we look to the Heavens in search for our Creator. It floods our bodies as we drink of it's liquid life. Blue represents a sustaining force greater than ourselves.
My favorite of the hues, yellow is the color of lights and purity. It speaks to the pureness of youth; the love; hospitality; and a fresh field ready to be harvested. Yellow reflects all that we should represent in the eyes of others as we bring them closer to Jesus. 1 Peter 1:7 states,
"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." (NLT)
Just like gold, we as Christians are tested by fire and molded into who God most sees us to be.
The mixture of yellow (purity) and blue (connection to God's Word), green symbolizes freedom, fertility, and our immortality through Christ. It is the product of its two primary bases and reminds us what we must do to meet this most precious goal.
Another mixture, this time of red and yellow; orange is the symbol of fire and the sun. Both having an integral force of warmth with produces food and growth.
Have you ever been able to enjoy newly fallen snow? A blanket of white so beautiful, you almost didn't want to disturb it? Most recognized as the color of Jesus, this represents birth, virginity, and innocence.
The color of Lent and Advent, purple speaks of our trust in the Lord and of faith and patience throughout our faith journey. It is also a rich color often used to symbolize royalty, which we step into as believers in Christ.
This one, I think we can all speak of in confidence as a sign of death or perhaps even a bad omen. Yet, I want you to think of it again, with the idea of the womb. We are formed in the blackness of a women, like a secret that is just between us and God. The quiet before something new springs forth. Truly, it is a symbol of anticipation, waiting, and even hope for what is to come. Though the darkness might press down upon us, bursting through is the expectancy of new light. Black is as hopeful and intimate of a color as they come.
The colors of this world can knock us off our feet. They can entrance us during the stroll through the park or a museum and fill just with emotions we never knew we possessed. Colors can also help us to connect with God, His love for us, and the intimacy of the moment. I am so thankful for the complexity of color that helps us to know our God better still and to understand the soft whispers He sends to us each day!