The color green


by Kat Cannon, Director of Women’s Ministry

Ever get a song stuck in your head?  My mother calls this a “tune worm.”  Well, I’ve had one squirming around in there for a couple of weeks now, and I think God may be using it to tell me something.

“The Color Green” by Rich Mullins:

(chorus) be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands / suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land / look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made / blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise

I’ve been singing it in my car, humming it in the office, tapping my fingers to the drumbeat inside my head.  I just can’t help it.  It pops up every time I see grass or trees or any growing plant.  And I imagine each one of them praising God with their green-ness, shouting His praise to the heavens.

Then my brain goes weird (if you know me at all then you saw this coming). I imagine God shaping each leaf, watching it unfurl and then inventing green to color it with.  This single plant can’t move or speak or do anything for its Creator.  All it can do is grow and be.  Yet it praises Him with its very existence.

I find it extremely humorous of God to speak to me about green and plants and such – I have the unique spiritual gift of ushering plants into the next life as quickly as possible.  I can’t even keep an ivy alive.  The lush vine on my office bookshelf is all fake.  I’m great at killing green things.

But I think God may be asking me to be…well…green.  Let’s see if I can explain.

Science tells us that the chemical chlorophyll is what gives plants their shades of green.  The chemistry inside the plant takes sunlight and converts it to food, allowing the plant to do what it does.  Plants also take in carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen which gives every moving creature on the planet something to breath, something to live on.  Take in light. Grow. Convert what could be death into life.  Green.  Just the sorts of things our Creator loves.

I smile at the strips of grass in the median on the highway on my way to work.  They’re praising God with their color, even in the heat of summer.  And when the winter comes and they turn all brown, they know that spring is coming and green will be back.  More praise to their Creator.  The flat green of the highway signs doesn’t do it for me.  It has to be the green that God made and put into His plants.  Nothing else will do.

I get a little bit sad at all of the concrete and the manicured lawns and hedges in my neighborhood.  No judgments here by the way, just observations.  It seems that our tendency as humans is to pave over or control the green stuff in our lives.  Maybe we tamp down or box in our praise of God, too, instead of letting it grow wild and free.

Then I wonder…how can I be green?

I’m not talking about environmental policy or recycling – those are great issues for another time.  I’m talking about praising God with my being.  How do I take in His light?  Am I growing in Him?  Do I let Him work through me to convert what might be deadly into something life-giving for someone else?

If I do these things, then I can be “green” like the plants filling His fields with praise.  I can reach to the heavens with my “leaves” and allow my very existence to sing His praises.  And this “green” things isn’t about doing…it’s about being.  I can’t do “green” but I might be able to be “green.”

So if you pass me in the hallway and hear me humming softly to myself, just know that I’m working on my green-ness and praising God for making me me.

What about you?  How can you be “green” and praise God with your being today?