They say familiarity breeds contempt. While that may be true, familiarity also breeds numbness. After hearing or doing or seeing the same thing day in and day out, eventually it all just fades into the background so that I almost don’t see or hear it at all anymore.
When the monotony of everyday life or motherhood starts to set in for me, which happens more often than I care to admit, everything turns gray and colorless around me. I start operating on cruise control, going through the motions, following the routine, completing the tasks, but with very little life or presence to me.
I was having one of those weeks this past week. I just couldn’t shake the gray haze I was walking around in. Nothing particular terrible happened, in fact, all in all, it was what should be considered a “good week.” I just felt colorless.
We have a garden in our front yard. Actually, our front yard is a garden, which is what happens when you move to California. This means that every time I walk out of my house (which is often, as our laundry room is in our garage and the laundry and I have a very consistent and intimate relationship), I pass by a garden teeming with life. The majority of the time, the colors, the smells, the shapes are lost on me, as I chasing a child or in the middle of a task.
But this week I was humbled by my geraniums. I know that sounds a little fruity, but I mean it. They caught my eye this week countless times. They are the deepest, most velvety red I have ever seen. This in itself is a grace, as I am a novice at this garden thing and haven’t fertilized or fed these poor plants in months. But that’s another confession for another day.
In the midst of a gray and numbed mind, the red stood out in bright contrast.
I started to really observe the colors in the garden, the deep greens, the strong yellows, the slight purples. God has given such variety, such an array of hues to His creation. Surely, if humanity is the crown of His handiwork, He has endued us each with colors. I am not talking bright, manufactured dyes, but the colors our lives reveal when we are being who He has made us to be.
The geraniums are coming up red today,
A deep velvety red that words can’t convey.
The snap pea sprouts deep purple and blue,
Even the broccoli yields it’s own colorful hue.
The garden is buzzing and busting forth color,
Next to their array, it’s keeper appears duller.
Colors, deep and rich, variegated and pure,
These, your beautiful colors, greet me at the door.
Yet, I, made in your image, feel colorless and grey,
Oh lord, draw from my life unique colors today.
Dull and faded, but tired of manufactured shades,
I Long to radiate color that never fades.
Lord, my gardener, so feed and tend to me,
That as you draw out my colors, others You may see.
For flowers are lovely and fruits good to the taste,
But only man have you made God-faced.
They put us to shame with their simple obedience,
lord, teach us to depend with such expedience.