Meaning of Green

Well! The world has changed so quickly! And things continue to be in a state of upheaval as I write this post. Matters that were once fairly stable and routine have become unknowns. Most of us have had to adapt and grow during this Coronavirus Pandemic. Self isolation and social distancing are the new buzz words. I’m giggling a little because my introvert self is lovin’ it! What?! We don’t have to go out? No problem here, I have a hundred and one projects to tackle… it’s all you other people that are home that seem to be getting in the way. Seriously though, I pray that you all are safe and keeping the faith. Be encouraged that God knows, and loves His children.

Perhaps you’ve been like me and survived your first week at home with kids in tow, trying to keep one step ahead of the chaos. You’ve worked hard at making sure everyone is sane and that there are enough snacks and toilet paper as you juggle the finances to be sure things stay afloat when there may be less work available. Take a deep breath with me, my friend, and let’s pull out the last colour in our crayon box: Green.

“The grass is greener on the other side” seems an appropriate proverb for our current affairs. We may think our situation seems dire compared to others, but it’s not true. Our blessings are many if we look for them. The “Green, Green Grass of Home” is truly a pleasant place to be for most of us. Our people are there, and we feel safe among them. Maybe we just need to see this as a forced season of rest. Certain shades of Green make us feel refreshed, relaxed and in a place of peace and security. We often talk of the colour green with financial security, wealth and abundance. The colour green lies in the middle of the solar spectrum and the human eye can see the most shades of green, compared to other shades. It must be one of God’s favourites, too, because there is so much of it in our environment! Which is also why marketers use it so often to help us “go green” as we associate it with all things environmentally friendly and “naturally good for us”.

But in the fateful words of Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being Green”. Hopefully you are not “feeling a little green” from all these idioms, because despite the green Irish luck of leprechauns, too much green can leave you feeling lazy and apathetic. Or “green with envy”. Yes, green is certainly one colour we use a lot in our everyday language! But what about in the scriptures? In the King James Version of our Bible, the word “green” appears 44 times, interestingly, only 4 times in the New Testament. And most Bible scholars would agree that of those 44 times, most reflect growth, renewal and immortality.

So let’s look at some examples:

“Happy are those who trust in the Lord… They will be like trees planted by the streams, whose roots reach down to the water. They won’t fear drought when it comes; their leaves will remain green. They won’t be stressed in the time of drought or fail to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17: 7-8 CEB

“All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.”

Ezekiel 17:24 NIV

“For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Luke 23:31 NIV

And one of my personal favourites:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
   He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
  He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.”

Psalm 23 NIV

So we see the idea of growth — literal trees that either wither or flourish depending on their life circumstances. And so it is with us. If we are attached to the vine of Life, and abide in the fullness of His love and care, we will flourish and grow. Even in uncertain times, like in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, we can rest assured that the One who is in control of the growth of the tallest tree, will not allow us to dry up and wither away. He will prune and shape us to start new, healthy growth. He will water and fertilize with encouragement and gentle prodding. He will give us strong foundations and rich soil to feed our needs. He will shine down on us as we timidly raise our tiny shoots heavenward. Even the “greenest” of us will begin to bloom and blossom in time.

So perhaps Kermit was right: it’s not easy bein’ green. But in a world of uncertainty, I must take hold of the promises I see in God’s word, and trust that He is looking out for us, and intends for us to be forever alive.


   

Thanks for following along in our “colouring party” posts. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s thoughts on “green”. Want to make sure you don’t miss the next exciting adventure? Sign up here for weekly muses! And don’t forget to check out our other colours from previous posts! As always, I love to hear your thoughts and comments!

   

I Still Believe Movie Review

Have you ever thought about the colours of the stars at night? It’s true! Stars can range in colour from deep red to bright blue and pure white! A star’s color indicates its temperature, (red = coolest, white = hottest), composition and relative distance from earth. Its luminosity indicates its size, (the brighter it is, the larger it is). There are many colored stars in the sky and, with a little planning, you can see a rainbow of star colours from your own backyard. I’ve brought the colours of stars to your attention because we’re adding it in to a Bonus Colouring Party Post!! You’ll want to read it, because it includes a giveaway!!

The beloved and I were recently granted a pre-screening of Lionsgate’s newest faith-based movie, I Still Believe, directed by the Erwin Brothers (creators of I Can Only Imagine). It’s based on the inspiring true love story of Christian singer-songwriter, Jeremy Camp and his journey of love and loss. And let me tell you: Hollywood is making leaps and bounds in Christian themed, wholesome, but still entertaining, movies! Okay, it’s not as epic as Lord of the Rings, but the cinematography is good, the soundtrack is fabulous, and we’ve come a long way from the faith-based, family-friendly films of old. Many of you know that I hate a cheesy, gag-inducing love story — so if I can recommend this one, you gotta know it is worth your ticket. But bring the tissues. It’s one of those. Here’s a sneak peek at the trailer:

The star studded cast of KJ Apa, Britt Robertson, Shania Twain and Gary Sinise portray the story of Jeremy Camp’s early beginnings in Christian music and his marriage to Melissa. It’s a story of young love in the midst of a scary diagnosis — and Still Believing that God has a bigger purpose and plan! If you’ve been following mittonmusings for any length of time, you will know that’s a theme that we muse about often. Our life journeys are not so simple, but if God has a plan… there will be a purpose fulfilled! So, I am excited to be promoting a theme of hope that means so much to us here in our little blip of the internet.

It’s been over eighteen years since Camp wrote the words to his song “I Still Believe” in response to Melissa’s story. Yet his faith and trust in God almighty is still vibrant and clear. His life was changed when he met Melissa, and he hopes the movie will be one more step in sharing her story. If you’d like to see more from the filmmakers and those involved in the movie, I’ve posted “the Heart of the Story” here on my Facebook page. God didn’t design our world to include suffering, pain and crappy diseases like cancer — but the Bible promises that He will work all things to His glory and good. And He uses you and me — single stars in this huge expanse of time and space, to write the stories that point us heavenward. Melissa’s character reminds us of this in the movie when she says her suffering will all be worth it if one person’s life is changed because of her story. And so it is with us.

So why stars? It’s a little side plot that Melissa’s character uses to remind us all that even the most troubled stars often shine the brightest. And supernovas can give us some of the most beautiful images (and colours!) in the galaxy — if only we take the time to Still Believe.

The Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant (pixels)

We’ll get back to our regular “colouring party” posts on Tuesday, but because I Still Believe is opening in Canada on Friday, March 13th we wanted to give you this bonus post today — and Give you a chance to win tickets for the show!!! Valued at $25 Canadian, it’s just in time for March break! Take the kids! Who’s bringing popcorn?! Sorry friends farther away, This Movie ticket Giveaway is only open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who are over the age of majority. The contest closes March 15th, 2020 at 11:59pm EST. Items you receive may vary from those shown. Click HERE to enter!

Meaning of White

It’s been snowing here again. Another wallop of good, Canadian fun, just in time for the rush hour drive home. Thankfully, I’ve been able to watch it from the comfort of my window perch and not from the dashboard of the minivan travelling the 401 highway. Snow can be pretty from a windowsill; especially if the flakes are those fluffy, soft and quiet ones that drift down and gently alight on the branches of our evergreen out front. A gracious reminder to take time to appreciate stillness.

I’m pleased that the snow came this week, because our colouring party is focusing on white — and what could be more white then snow?! In fact, the Bible even uses it as our descriptive choice for this colour:

18 Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! “

Isaiah 1:18 (The Living Bible)
My View from the Windowsill

Isaiah is only one of the books that mentions white in conjunction with snow and wool… in the King James Version, white is used over 70 times! White skin, white hair, white snow, white wool, white horses. Seems to be a popular colour. My dad used to say white isn’t a colour at all, “It’s a shade” he says. Well, he’s sort of right. Technically, in the world of physics and some artists, black and white don’t fall under the definition of true colour. Remember that spectrum we looked at back in our first post about Rainbows? White contains all the possible wavelengths of light and is the “sum” of all the coloured wavelengths. Black is the opposite. Black is the absence of light and therefore the absence of colour. Artists use white and black to make darker or lighter shades of spectrum colours. They aren’t considered true colours themselves. They are either reflecting all light or absorbing it. No shades of grey. This is an important detail as we consider white symbolism.

It’s fairly safe to say that most of us attribute white to purity, cleanliness, innocence and unadulterated light. Think wedding dresses, bleach, daisies in a summer field. White is often the liturgical colour of Easter, as it reflects the idea of “new beginnings”. Too much white might make us think of cold, sterile and lifeless environments.

Photo Credit Chris Brignola (Unsplash)

Think Arctic wastelands and hospital subway tiles. Leviticus sights white in various skin diseases where the skin or hair “turns white” and requires cleansing. Speaking of cleansing, I love the white froth of hydrogen peroxide or vinegar and baking soda. Life giving oxygen mixing in the power of scientific wonder (bubbles!) to make everything clean and sparkly! I think it’s pretty cool that God has given us so many natural substances for everyday things… like cleaning.

Which brings us to our crucial discovery about white in the Bible. It reminds us that only through Christ are we made pure. Throughout the Old Testament, worshipers were told to bring lambs “without blemish” as their sacrifice for sins. Pure. White is often linked with all things righteous and acceptable in the sight of God. For He is a Holy God, and cannot acknowledge even that little bit of darkness into the pure Light spectrum. And yet, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we can be presented as “holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation…” Colossians 1. An encouraging thought, indeed!

However, we cannot simply leave this study without mentioning God’s warnings. A few times we are presented in life with things that appear to be pure, holy and clean. They have a positive message, are uplifting, and kind even. Seemingly wise and knowledgeable like the “white haired” elders of old. But — the Bible warns us against “whitewashing”. Matthew 23 and some commentaries on Revelation 6 warn us that what may appear to be “white” on the outside may be just the opposite on the inside… full of darkness and deceit. Satan is often described as “the angel of light” but is truly the “father of lies”. So even though his ways may appear good and trustworthy, we must be good stewards of God’s word and always be questioning and thinking and forever learning!

Image by Jörg Vieli from Pixabay

Oh friend, even the purest of snowfalls are easily trampled and muddied. Muck has a way of covering everything and ruining the innocence and purity of the absolute light, frozen in the spectrum. But God is bigger than that muck and mire and He says come, I’ll make you clean again, white as new fallen snow!


Thanks for following along in our “colouring party” posts. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s thoughts on “white”. Want to make sure you don’t miss the next one? Sign up here for weekly muses! And don’t forget to check out our other colours from previous posts! As always, I love to hear your thoughts and comments!