Life in color

You don’t have to ask me why
Because I know you understand
All the treasures of my life
Are right here in my hand
Suspended in a moment
No more breath to catch
If you hold on to your end
Maybe we can make this last

This is the greatest time of day
When all the clocks are spinning backwards
And all the ropes that bind begin to fray
And all the black and white turns into 

I don’t want to build a wall
Or draw a line across the sand
Because there’s room for one and all
And this land is our land
Oh I hope this can go on and on and on
Before the skipping stone hits the surface of the pond
Oh I know that life is never very long
One second, then one minute, and then its gone

You want to sink into the colors on the wall
But all the while you are the brightest of them all

This is the greatest time of day
When all the clocks are spinning backwards
And all the ropes that bind begin to fray
And all the black and white turns
This is the greatest time of day
When there’s no you and there’s no others
And all the rules grow wings and fly away
And all the black and white turns into
~ Colors, Grace Potter ~

The winter sky washes everything out, white on white and punctuation of black, the vistas of these thousand miles in January. This barn, the one with the faint green room, was shot in color. But you'd never know to look at it.

Bleed the Gospel of grace and you get black and white. You're walking through the streets, hair in your face, crying out, "Unclean! Unclean!" (the only way to read through Leviticus in one day without falling asleep is to make up Monty Python scenes in your mind. Yes, folks, they got this line from the Bible: Leviticus 13:45). It's a depressing landscape, but a powerful one. Catches your eyes and holds your stare, the contrast and the simplicity, the forms underneath so visible in black and white.

The power of the Gospel is that the Law is emptied of the power to condemn, the price of sacrifice already paid. The beauty of the Bible is in the whole of the story, from start to finish, creation to fall to law to Cross, resurrection, and finally reunion and glory. What was black and white is bled through with the red of Christ's blood, and washed away by the river of His love that poured straight out of His veins and straight into our hearts. 
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. ...Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 7:21-25, Romans 8:1-4, 9-11 NLT, emphasis mine)

This tree against the blue twilight sky was amazing. These are the colors, untouched, of the dusk just before the last light of the sun and before the first light of the moon, in winter, in Wisconsin. That slow time of day when it feels like the hands of the clock stop their ticking and God puts on a display every night in the winter sky, from the deep cobalt of this twilight-lit tree to the glorious, majestic purples and oranges of the sunset on a clear day.

The colors are beginning to seep back in to the winterscape for me, and it dazzles and almost hurts the eyes. Sometimes just doing the next thing is the way to let the color bleed through vibrant to your silent, paralyzed brain. So, I've decided that, after months of listing my thanks without numbers, I'm going to start my list that counts to 1,000. A list of blessings to peel my eyes away from the gaping wounds and white-on-gray that surrounds, and focuses these tired eyes back on the glorious little details.

Number 1 on my list of thanks is the blessing this lady, who probably doesn't know she's speaking for the one true King, has saturated my days with some new songs that cry GRACE in a black-and-white world. (Isn't it an auspicious name to have, if you're going to sing about truth, "Grace Potter")

2 : the perfect perpendicular of my daughter's first ruler-guided Cross drawing
3 : a husband who tenderly draws out my tears when I really need to let tears fly
4 : the same man doesn't ever spit condemnation my direction, whatever I deserve
5 : Beet & Sweet chips to dip in my beans during a football game, boon to a low-carb hater

Next week, I'll have an excerpted list of the blessings of a whole week, numbered. Join me if you think you need a dose of gratitude to counteract the muddiness of life. Read more about it here.