Let me say at the outset that I’m impressed with women who can make a pleasing outfit with subtle shades of grey.
For good or ill, that’s not me. The other week I got a sudden notion to clean out my clothes closet, and take some unwanted items to the thrift shop. Here’s what my closet looked like when I finished.
The first thing to strike me were the swatches of strong colour – orange, red and purple mainly. I’ve loved the colour orange for a long time. A few friends have hinted that they’re getting tired of it. Purple also has a history. Red with black is a newer addition. But I started out with subdued colours.
When I was a beginning pastor, a young adult asked me, “Sue, why do you always wear such dull clothes? Brighten up!” So I did. (I wore “dull colours” in those early days because I didn’t want to “stand out” as a young female pastor.)
When I was a younger pastor, I had a purple dress and purple shoes. I liked them enough that I wore them to church from time to time – until another young woman started calling me “her purple highness.”
Actually, I secretly wished I could wear robes in liturgical colours.
Other evidences of colour in my world have included: quilts and quilted wall hangings, spring and summer flowers, the spring green of the golf course and its trees across the way, maple trees in fall.
I have also reveled in patterns, such as fields in summer.
Recently I found a spiritual exercise in an old journal which I wrote on a retreat a few years ago. Taking off from the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3, it reads in part like this:
How can a woman who is old be born?
- in simplicity; in simple pleasures; in focus;
- in NOT needing to have anything to prove;
- in carrying the past, not as burden or baggage, but as gift;
- in strong earth colours (brown, orange, green, yellow, deep red);
- in vulnerability
- in hope
- in protest!
- with the Spirit as a gentle loving current within.
I was pleased to find this journal entry; it still speaks wisdom to me. And I’m glad it includes colour!
Questions for Reflection:
- What is your reaction to wearing strong colours?
- What would you add to or subtract from my list of “how a woman who is old can be born”?