Our God is the God of Peace:
as different as we all are, in Christ
God has torn down the walls and made us one.
Those of you who began attending Stone Hill/Westerly after about mid–2007 are probably wondering about the background to today’s “Vivid Color Sunday.” Back in April 2007 I suffered an unexpected loss of vision in my left eye. As a result of the trauma, for over a month my entire sight was limited, painful and mentally overwhelming. With time, God restored well over half of the vision in my left eye and reeducated my brain on how to see again. But during the dark days of those vision problems, I gained a fresh appreciation for the beauty of color. It was then and there that I resolved never to take such beauty for granted—especially during the month of May, when the palette of God’s artistry changes from day to day. So as a way for all of us to recover the wonder of sight and the abundance of color, we celebrate Vivid Color Sunday here at Stone Hill.
Here is an excerpt from a poem I wrote shortly after the 2007 incident:
Glory to God for violet and amber, for orange-rose and new-leaf chartreuse;
Glory to God for all pinks and browns, yellows and reds,
blues and bluers and bluests;
Glory to God for vivid, pale, icy and bright;
hue, tone, tinge and shade:
Glory to God for color!
And here is a poem by Christian author Gerard Manley Hopkins called “Pied Beauty.” Written just after the First World War (1918), it celebrates the wonder of sight, shape, and color in a different (and better) way that mine:
GLORY be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh–firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
May we never take for granted the breathtaking beauty and rich diversity of God’s creation!