So I bought some paint a while back to put a fresh coat up on the interior of my house. “Filtered Shade” is the romantic name I selected. Ok, really, it’s just a shade of gray. Still, I really loved the name. I mean would I have loved it as much had been just plain old gray? Probably not. I don’t buy nail polish, lip gloss and eye shadow in red, pink or blue. No. I want “Late Fall Apple, Powder Puff Pink and Mid-Summer Sky”. Now those are colors I can plunk some money down on.
Faith, religion and church come in many shades and variances too. Definitely not a one size fits all. But, I do remember, not so long ago, when I was a true believer in the one size fits all way of thinking. I was comfortable with that and felt pity for anyone who did not find their path to God the same way I had.
Fast forward many years and let the unraveling begin. I began a journey into the possibility that God was not a thin, narrow, one-size fits all God. Could the God of the universe actually love, embrace and celebrate all of his creation? Radical and scary stuff at first.
But once I began unraveling my tightly held beliefs it caused a seismic shift in my view of God, love, religion and life. I had to ask myself : Did Jesus come, love, serve and die for a few? Or did he pay the the ultimate price for all of man-kind? Do only a relative few who say a prayer in a certain way get to God? Or when Jesus said “It is finished” did he mean just that? It’s done. Nothing else is required. No four part prayer, no paying dues, no self-flagellation, no belonging to a particular denomination or religion. Jesus did it, he finished it right then and there. Plus nothing.
Our existence is not one shade or color. Life most certainly is not one shade of gray. Sit under a tree on a summer afternoon and watch the beautiful filtered shade come through the branches and leaves. It moves in waves of sun and shade, light and dark. So many beautiful filtered shades of gray. The shades are not the same, but they are equally lovely. I choose to let that balmy, calming breeze blow new life into my walk with God. I feel God moving in and among the beautiful shades of gray in my life. No longer expecting any of it to look or move exactly like I expected it to. But, loving and embracing it all just the same.