Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Absence of Color

Recently while sitting at my computer my photos came up on the screen display and I was not only struck by but absorbed in the vibrant colors of the photos.  Colors are brilliant, rich, and beautiful.  Here in Mongolia, we are in the season of non-color.  We see every extension of brown, brown and brown.  It is very dull indeed.  

I teach a photography class to our High School students and gave them an assignment of taking portrait pictures.  Happily, I showed them many examples of portrait pictures discussing color, light, backgrounds, and composition giving them many ideas of what they can do.  I was looking forward to seeing the results.  However, next class as they displayed their pictures there was such an absence of color and the pictures were so dull and boring, that I found myself so disappointed.  I then reiterated the assignment regarding color, light, backgrounds and composition and they said to me, “we have no color in our apartments, we have no bright clothing, and our parents work too hard and are too tired to dress up for us to take their pictures!”  I was shocked.   But upon reflection I discovered it is true what they say.  The apartments here are all painted dull beige, the curtains are the same.  Everyone wears dark clothing because it is such a dirty city and keeping things bright and clean is work indeed!  Parents are way too busy for their children.  Most children don’t even see their parents till 10 o’clock at night when they come in from work.  Children are mostly independent riding the buses by themselves at all hours, fixing their own meals, doing their own wash, etc.  

This is the state of society in Mongolia – no color both in the physical and the inward soul for many.  No color – imagine a world with no color and little joy.  I find it appalling and shocking!  God is brilliant in color, light, and the warmth of love and beauty in all His being.  Shouldn’t his children also express such?  I’m beginning to understand the reasons that people are so moved when shown love and care.  There is such a lack of it here.  

I’m so glad that God made the sky blue in whatever country you may live and He creates such brilliant sunsets that all may enjoy and see the brilliance of His creation.  He wants His people to be people of beauty, inward beauty - the reflection of Himself and to express and magnify His beauty to all people so that they may know the warmth and kindness of His love and be drawn to it. 

Exodus 28:2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty."
Psalm 90:17- “And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”
Isaiah 28:5 – “In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people”
Isaiah 61:3- “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Exodus says the Priests garments were to be holy for glory and beauty.  I think that is lovely!  We are to be holy, filled with His glory - beautiful!  May the beauty of the LORD our GOD be upon us!  Amen!

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