The other day a dear friend of mine lamented via a Facebook post that he “…sees WAY too much in black and white. I am not good at gray, or any shade of it.”
Besides being a very astute and self-aware comment (lots of ‘likes’ on that status), it got me thinking about our world of ‘black & white and grey all over.’
Having been a believer for many many years now, my stance on this very issue has certainly changed. As a young Christian, I lived in a household where the family Bible was an accepted yet dusty decoration. And as the youngest of 7 kids I saw firsthand the lifestyle of the sixties and seventies up close and personal…and the devastating effects of everything those times demanded.
Lest I paint a picture of wild and rebellious rock and roll youth, there was plenty of party coming from the grown-ups too. I don’t say this to cast stones or cast aspersions; it’s just the facts, ma’am.
Needless to say as my spiritual values changed, my view of ‘sin’ and ‘sinful behavior’ quickly hardened into black and white. In other words, grey had no place on my color chart.
Yet if ‘judgement’ was a color then it would’ve been my fav…
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe in ‘absolute’ truth, because isn’t Truth (with a capital T) absolute by it’s very nature? But the Bible is crystal clear about God’s ability to see and abide sin.
It’s something God can’t do.
Yes. Some things are right and others wrong. God will judge us, and deservedly so. But I guess what I’m having a problem with is when I decide it’s my place to pass judgement on someone or something.
Those who know me well know that I’m plenty ‘judgement-worthy’. Most if not all of the really tough times in my life have come from really stupid choices I’ve made. And at 50 and counting, I’m finding that I am woefully consistent.
So what about all that grey?
I’m a musician and have played my fair share of club gigs, frat parties, country club galas, and the like. The biggest drunk throw-down I ever played was at a church sponsored bingo night.
Black and white or grey?
I have many friends of different backgrounds from my own. Unbelievers and atheists. Followers of religions other than the one we all espouse. People who live ‘alternative lifestyles’. Women who have aborted unwanted babies. Men who have fathered yet abandoned their babies. People whose only apparent sin is to seek acceptance and belonging every weekend at the local bar.
I’ll refrain from casting stones at the people who deny grace to all of the above ‘greys’. That’s just a not-so-subtle form of judgement (I’m worthy of judgement too, remember?).
Those of us who have experienced the need for extreme grace can remember the feeling of judgement cast…
The feeling of being alone…
The feel of a heart that no longer feels, as self-laid walls of protection are built higher and higher. Blocking out the pain of judgement…and the hope of feeling.
God sees in black and white, yet gave us Jesus for all our shades of grey…transforming them into colors we never dreamed nor imagined.