Strength and Dignity

Enhancing the Gray

Enhancing the Gray

In and of itself the color Gray is nothing fabulous. Think about it, when asking, “What’s your favorite color?” Gray is not likely to be the answer. Typically, the more favored responses to that question lean toward more vibrant colors like pink and blue. Wikipedia calls Gray a “color without color”, and uses words such as: dusty, drab, and dull to describe it. However, Gray is quite popular within the current home décor trends, but let’s not forget about avocado green people. Seriously, if you grew up in the era of the 70’s you know what I’m talking about. This less than desirable color of green held precedence in most color schemes within homes of that decade. Add to that some maple paneling and you are sitting in an award-winning, 1970’s Better Homes and Gardens bungalow. Anybody remember the Brady Bunch? Avocado green seemed like a great choice at the time.

Enough said. Comparing avocado to Gray isn’t quite fair. Gray is definitely more “neutral” which should afford it more staying power than home décor color choices of the past. Gray plays nicely with other colors besides maple paneling, allowing those colors to enhance it nicely.

Just like Gray décor may not be for everyone, the same can be true for Gray clothing. Personally, Gray does not look fabulous on me. For all my color analysis friends out there, I am what you would label a winter, so Gray is not recommended on my preferred color wheel. Some ladies can brilliantly pull off Gray, but I am not one of them. I hold little affection for this color, but it does still exist within my wardrobe. Open my closet and you will find many articles within the shade of Gray, just short of 50 shades. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) These articles of Gray clothing only exit my closet when paired up with a colorful friend, unless I’m looking for something to bring out the bags and circles under my eyes.

My wardrobe is not the only place I seek to enhance the color Gray. The sight of Gray in my hair prompts an urgent call to my magician, I mean beautician, hoping she has an immediate opening to enhance my Gray hair. Gray in my hair does not play nice with the natural colors of warm chestnut surrounding it. Okay, maybe those warm chestnut colors surrounding it are not completely natural, but you get the point. Sometimes my Gray hair needs some enhancement, like every 4 weeks, but who’s counting.

Not only do I seek to enhance Gray within the realm of décor, wardrobe and hair, but also within these Gray days that linger on after the holidays have passed. The long, cold days of winter can be Gray for many, especially those of us who live in the Midwest. No matter how much we whistle the song that…“Gray skies are gonna clear up”… they simply refuse to clear and we just can’t seem to put on that happy face.

It is proven that cloudy, overcast Gray skies, day upon day, can lead to clinical depression. Others can just feel a blah, drug down feeling that won’t lift. A brilliant, blue-sky day can have the opposite effect, lifting the soul and spirit, changing our tune to “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”.

Blue skies only come as a direct result of clouds lifting, giving the sun opportunity to reveal itself. I believe this is true for our spiritual souls as well. Enhancing the Gray within décor, wardrobe and hair all require intentionally, it is the same for my soul. I must seek to enhance the Gray within my soul to give way to the SON, Jesus Christ, to break through.

Outside of seasonal depression, which is a very real thing, it could be that the Gray within our soul comes when we aren’t intentionally enhancing it. Gray within our soul can creep in on us much like a slow-moving weather front, causing us to feel weighed down, possibly without hope of the sun ever shining again. Step into this passage in Isaiah with me and hear God describe how our light can break through.

In Isaiah 58: 1-5 (HCSB) God addresses the practice of fasting with people He observed going through the motions of religious practice. At the same time, they were neglecting something that was affecting their level of connection with Him. In verses, 6-7 God explains, “true fasting”.

6

Isn’t the fast I choose:

To break the chains of wickedness,

to untie the ropes of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free,

and to tear off every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,

to bring the poor and homeless into your house,

to clothe the naked when you see him,

and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?

Look at the call to action within these verses. It is a call beyond religious rituals. It is a call to be others focused.

  • Share with the hungry
  • Bring others into your home
  • Clothe the naked
  • Give attention to your family

THEN… THEN… verse 8!

The result of this focus on others.

Then your light will appear like the dawn,

and your recovery will come quickly.

Your righteousness will go before you,

and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.

Your Gray soul may be starved for light because your heart and mind have been pulled inward. At times we can be so invested in our own emotions, or current circumstances that our view becomes Gray, and we have no ability to see the needs of others around us. When we as woman sink into this depths of a Gray soul, our whole way of thinking becomes clouded; our spirits become negative, critical and judgmental. In verse 9, God drives home the point that a shift in focus and action brings a knowing of His presence with us.

 

At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer;

when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.’

If you get rid of the yoke among you, (religiosity)

the finger-pointing and malicious speaking, (judgment – gossip – criticism)

10 

and if you offer yourself to the hungry,

and satisfy the afflicted one,

then your light will shine in the darkness,

and your night will be like noonday.

This shift of focus, from ourselves to what others around us need it creates a light, not just to nourish and restore our own souls, but we then radiate and become that soul refreshment to those around us. Are you in need of some enhancement to be pulled out of the muck and mire of your Gray today? Look around you; see who truly needs you and deliver some enhancement to their Gray. Then your LIGHT will appear like the dawn!

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