Last Sunday’s teaching got me thinking physics once again. I have the benefit and blessing of being surrounded with incredible displays of coloured flowers from early April through to November. Our gardens are incredibly lush and vibrant due mainly to the love and labour of Ellie. I do my small part – Ellie points and I dig – but most of the planning and planting is her doing. A garden of tulips, daffodils, crocuses, peonies, bleeding hearts, forget-me-nots, irises, thrifts, daylilies, brown-eyed-Susan, Shasta daisies, purple cone flowers, red bee balm, plume poppies, clematis, coral bells, foamy bells, Solomon’s seals, columbine, mums, Annabelle hydrangea, summer flocks . . . Colour everywhere, all the time, every week, speaking to a small sample of God’s beauty and creation. Consider for a moment, one of these – a red daylily. Do you recall from science class why one object appears blue while another is seen as red? It has to do with how light is absorbed or reflected. By ‘light’ I am focusing upon a small section of the much larger electromagnetic spectrum which is, the range of ‘light’ we can see. This visible range of light contains the seven colours of light that make up ‘white light.’ 1 The natural light we observe about us every day is termed white light and as mentioned it is a combination of all coloured light wavelengths. You have all observed this fact while viewing the refraction of light through prisms in a science class or in seeing a colour spectrum cast upon your kitchen walls as light passes and refracts through the crystal bobbles suspended at your kitchen windows. Back to our red lily. Simply put, this flower is red because it absorbs all colour wavelengths except red which is then reflected to our eye, and so we see a red flower.
Another aspect of colour is that something that appears white is reflecting all the various colours to our eye, whereas something that appears black is reflecting no colour to our eye but is rather absorbing all colour. Got it? Black absorbs everything; white reflects everything. More on this concept in a moment.
I learned something fascinating this week in regards to roosters. But before I go there I would like to relate a couple of encounters I have experienced with two other rather large fowls which involved colour.
The first was during a family outing through Lion’s African Safari when the boys were small and the rules at the park were not a strict as they are today. We had our windows in the car open as we traversed the giraffe and ostrich paddock. We used to feed the giraffe carrots through the open window. A very large ostrich approach our car. I was wearing a bright yellow shirt and I guess the bird saw my shoulder as a juicy orange and reached in and tried to separate the ‘fruit’ from the rest of me. It gave me quite a nip. The second encounter was at a farm where we went to buy a turkey or pumpkins or whatever. I was wearing a bright red shirt and as I stepped from the car I was immediately attacked by the biggest wild turkey on the planet. It continued to relentlessly chase me about the car until the farm owners shooed it away. The turkey was literally ‘seeing red.’ Seeing red is the point I wish to address. Animals seem to react to red in a very aggressive manner. Perhaps this explains the fury of a bull at seeing a red cape. Anyway, back to the way we see things. If I were to put on a pair of coloured glasses, say red tinted spectacles, and look at our garden, everything would appear red. This is because the red tinted glass absorbs all colours but allows red pass through the lens to my eye. Thus the expression, “looking through rose coloured glasses.” Our view of reality is distorted.
As I mentioned earlier, I learned some things about roosters this week. Did you know that farmers can purchase spectacles for roosters and chickens? I had no idea that such a thing was possible let alone practiced. It seems that when training young fowls to go to a certain location for food, red food containers are used. The birds are attracted to the red and learn quickly that the red means a source of food. This is true naturally for most animals and birds as red indicates blood, which suggests injury and weakness and so attracts predators. Red is associated with a food source. This explains the aggressive behaviour of chickens and roosters when they encounter an injured peer in the barnyard. They all seem to gang up on the poor creature and peck at it constantly. In order to discourage this behaviour red tinted glasses can be purchased for roosters to wear. These cause the rooster to see everything in red and so keeps its aggression under control rather than it being focused on one unfortunate individual. They see everything through ‘rose tinted glasses’ much like the spectacles of Elton John’s octagonal-pink-eyeshades. So, where is this message going? In a few pertinent directions I trust.
It is critical that especially in these times in which we live, that we see things clearly. Scripture reminds us in Eph. 6:12,
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The deception that is out there is beyond anything our natural eyes can see. The corruption that is out there is deeper than we could ever imagine let alone see. This two-headed monster of corruption and deception has snaked its way into every corner of society. Its seeds of tares have been sown into every good and wholesome garden. Yet, we who are called by His Name, are urged to watch and pray and to stand against this unholy, deprived onslaught of the enemy. In our beautiful garden, weeds are a constant battle. We try to keep on top of things by periodically pulling them out. But what of our present deprived world system? Matthew 13 beginning at verse 24 gives us insight.
“Jesus told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads then the weeds also appeared.’ The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘And enemy did this he replied.’ The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘Because while you are pulling the weeds you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time, I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn,’” (NIV)
Unlike our gardens about our house that we weed, we are not called to weed the world. That weeding is assigned for others. Rev. 14:14-19 explains.
“And I looked and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle and reap: for the time has come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud voice to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”
Here is the time of the separation of the wheat from the tares. The wheat taken into the “barns of the LORD” and the tares set aside for judgment. Here is the time for the weeding of God’s garden – the earth.
Two interesting aspects concerning wheat and tares. As they grow together they look identical. However, as the crown of each plant forms, the wheat tends to bend over or bow under the weight of the crown. The tares remain stubborn and erect. The heads of the wheat are white inside whereas the heads of the tares are grey or dark. This is an informative picture of white-bowing-believers verses erect stubborn proud grey non-believers.
We are called to see clearly; to remove the scales from our eyes; that we are to have eyes of faith. We are not called to be ‘weeders’ but rather planters of the word into other soils. We are not called to judge others solely by what our eye sees but to submit such work to the Lord for He alone can see well enough to judge the heart. We have a distorted view of things, much like our rooster friends. 1 Cor. 13:12 could perhaps be applied here. “For now we see through a glass darkly . . .” Our view of reality is clouded, somewhat distorted. In Acts 26 God appeared to Saul, causing a temporary blindness to fall upon Saul. You see, his view of reality was distorted and needed a re-alignment. And it was through the blindness of Saul that he was given true vision and a mission of God to go unto the Gentiles and to “open their eyes, and to turn them from the darkness of Satan unto the Light of the Lord.”
Luke exhorts us to “watch and pray,” while Hebrews 10:25 reminds us to exhort one another especially as we see the day approaching.
Self Absorbed or Reflective.
A second consideration has to do with the colours white and black. I remind you that something that appears black is so because it absorbs all colour wavelengths and reflects nothing back to our eye. A white object on the other hand absorbs nothing but rather reflects all light toward the eye of the beholder. There is a profound lesson for us here. The Bible describes the kingdom of Satan as the kingdom of darkness, and the kingdom of heaven as a kingdom of light. Those who belong to the kingdom of darkness are self-absorbing individuals. They are only satisfied by taking. They are out for themselves and care nothing for others. Accumulation of wealth, power, prestige, in the world’s eyes, and keeping everything for their own distorted pleasures. Everything that happens their way is absorbed for self-gratification.
Contrast this with the citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Being clothed in the pure white garments of Jesus, we are called to reflect Him to the eye of the beholder. And as we draw closer and closer to Him we reflect more perfectly His loveliness, His holiness, His beauty into a dark world. In the ideal, we keep nothing for ourselves but give all away. What was it Jesus was quoted as saying in Acts 20:35: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The more we give – reflect the perfect light of Jesus – the more blessed we become! The world is deceived into thinking that blessing comes by keeping, hoarding, coveting, but we know better, we see more clearly. We are more than trees of righteousness planted of the Lord, we are all flowers within His garden. We each reflect what He shines on us. We are each unique in that way, unique yet the same. We have been transplanted in the gardens of His choosing. I am reminded of Colossians 1: 12-13.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us, [transplanted if I may] into the kingdom of his dear son:”
We are called to be children of the light; to shun darkness and all that that entails. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 5:16,
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” We are to be reflectors of His glory. The sun shines upon the moon and the moon reflects all that falls upon it, so must we.
We are surrounded with an astounding array of colour. Our vision has been fine-tuned to perceive a very small interval of electromagnetic radiation that bursts before our dazzled eyes. This speaks to a loving Creator who joys in displaying His infinite attention of beauty and detail. Each flower reflects perfectly the image for which it was created. And the deeper we sink our hands into the soil of our gardens the more obvious this becomes. Flowers and their colours give us so many object lessons. Are we seeing what is before our eyes? Are we seeing the true reality all about us? Or are we wearing tinted spectacles that hide and distort what is real. Are we seeing clearly? This dark present world system puts all of this beauty and design down to chance. Ignorance, deception and falsehood are the spectacles they wear. This present age lies under a shroud of darkness where there is little true light. We are called to be lights in a dark and dreary land. We are to reflect as much of His light into this darkness as possible. We need not fear the darkness for the smallest light dispels the heaviest darkness. We are to be white reflectors, giving, giving, giving. Don’t worry about the evil, don’t worry about the tares, they will be dealt with. Walk in the light as He is in the light and let your colours shine. Consider Luke 8:17.
“For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.”
In the confusion and darkness of deception we see all about us in these days, let us be encouraged. All will be revealed in its time. The truth of every situation will become manifest. Truth will prevail, as will justice and recompense as surely as the spring return of our garden. Good planting. Amen.
1 Back in the day we learned that there were 7 colours composing white light, a significant Biblical number representing the completeness or fullness of God. Nowadays they teach there are only 6 colours making up white light, a significant Biblical number representing the number of man.
Father God we worship and praise You this new day for who you continue to be – a holy and all wise God. Lord we pray that your purity and righteousness be ours this morning and continue to abide on us throughout the coming weeks. We lift our brothers and sisters to you in the sure confidence that you will continue to prove yourself Faithful and True in all that each needs – in every aspect of their lives. We know Your eye is upon the sparrow and that Your eye is focused upon each of us. There is nothing hid from your eye, the darkness is as the brightness of the day to you. You see each of us clearly and there is nothing we think, say or do that is hidden in Your sight. Help us to remain faithful to our calling, both individually and corporately. Keep our feet upon a clear, straight path, and enlighten our way so that we may continue to walk in Your footsteps. We offer up our health needs to You, the pains and discomforts we bear knowing that You care for us. Lift much of these burdens from us for we grow weary at times. Anoint us with the Balm of Gilead that its fragrance can flow into every area of hurt. Remove from us the spirit of accusation, the spirit of deception, the spirit of doubt that we can put all of these influences aside that do so hinder our growth. Continue to water us with Your word; may it trickle into every cell of our mind. Keep us planted in good soil, and cause us to lift our heads in thanksgiving to You. May the ears of our heart hear You singing to us as we take on the tasks you have given us. Let our eyes be ever focused upon You dear Lord, and let us cast off our ‘tinted glasses’ so that we can see You and your creation as it really is. Let us enjoy the colour of your gardens, and accept each ‘flower’ as Your special gift to us and the world. Let us be encouraged and to encourage each other for we serve a God who reigns in truth and justice and loving kindness. Be at peace with yourselves and with others in the Name of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, for ever and ever Amen.