We live in a colorful world…but not everyone can see it. Color-blindness runs in my family. My dad was partially color-blind. So is my husband. Now we have at least two children who are partially color-blind.
I had a little peek into my family’s world of color one year when the owners of the building we were meeting in for church decided it was time to paint the building. When the job was finished, our church was an inviting, earthy brown color. As my children and I drove up to the church that first week after it was painted, my son Jonathon exclaimed, “How pretty! They painted the church to match the grass!” He was sure the church was green. It made me wonder if (from my perspective) he sees the grass as brown, or the church as green. (“Green” is what he called it.)
My husband, not always attending church with us, did not see the church’s paint job so soon–but when he did his reaction was quite different from Jonathon’s response. It only took one quick look to know what he thought of the color: “Yuck! Why would they paint the church red?!” That was when it occurred to me that even my husband and my son do not see things the same.
Some time before this, I was in the very early stages of home schooling my two (at the time) children. They had already picked up quite a bit of life-learning: fractions from helping cook, reading from being read to, following directions from everyday events, and so forth. However, when it came time for teaching colors, we struggled. It seemed that all of my tutoring experience and early childhood education units were going to waste. I could not even come up with a way to make this simple thing make sense.
Finally (and I believe this was the Holy Spirit, our “Principal”), I had a thought. I chose a color and asked my son a question–not “What color is this?”, but “Can you find something else that is this color?” Patterns started to emerge. I did the same with my daughter. Very similar results. Some colors were easy: a yellow crayon and a yellow toy, for example. Others proved inconsistent: a brown crayon and green leaves, perhaps. I told my husband, “I think the children are partially color-blind.” Previously, I had not realized that girls could be color-blind, too (which is why I was getting so frustrated–neither one of them were understanding my color lesson!). Over the years, my suspicions have been abundantly verified.
We are all different. We all see things differently. There are some people who see only shades of gray, like watching the world on an old black and white T.V. What a wonder they will have set before them when Jesus comes and this mortal shall have put on immortality! I believe that, when that day comes, even those of us who can see “all the colors” now will be pleasantly surprised to find that we, too, have been partially color-blind. Scientists have told us how they believe that certain animals can see colors that we cannot. Bees and ultra-violet is one widely accepted example. What if our eyes were “opened” to this whole new world of color? The Bible is clear:
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Yes, we live in a colorful world…but what will heaven be? 🙂