It’s been a week of winter grays. The January sky has been whitish gray, colorless and cold. The landscape has been faded, dull, and cold. That’s why it was such a breath of fresh air to see these beautiful winterberries the other day. They were bright red, vibrant, full of life! Red berries in a sea of gray.
Well, to be honest, I’m a little sensitive these days about that bland color. Gray. I’ve never really liked the color, but, I find that I have really disliked it recently. More like intensely disliked. Especially when I look in the mirror in the morning and see more and more of it! Yes, I’m thinking it just might be my year to go gray.
So I’m at a bit of a crossroads. Do I, who have never done anything but add “Sun-in” to my hair at my friend’s house when I was in 6th grade, color my hair? Hmmm. Or do I highlight it to disguise the gray a bit and buy myself a little time to make the decision? If you knew my schedule of visits to the salon, you might be quite amused. The time between visits would allow my gray roots to grow so long that I’d probably have a “wide-striped brunette skunk” kind of look. (Not quite the ‘look’ that I’d be going for!) Or do I concede to just going gray? That is the question.
So here’s the thing. Maybe, when I’m honest with myself, the dilemma isn’t really about gray hair. Maybe it’s a bit more of realizing that things are changing, and those changes aren’t always things that I’d choose. Maybe the gray is a reminder, that in the seasons of life, winter is coming. And maybe, just maybe, that’s another reason why I smiled from ear to ear when I saw the winter berries.
Because winter isn’t only gray. It is bright blue skies against mountains covered in snow, vibrant red berries on bare branches, children snuggled in snowsuits, then snuggled in blankets with warm hot chocolate and pink cheeks. It is trees with bare branches that stand as beautiful silhouettes against the sky as the sun goes down. Winter is a light blue morning sky brushed with soft pink and periwinkle clouds. Winter is of endings, and of beginnings. It is a time when the growth going on on the inside may not be visible on the outside.
And so it is with our winters to come, my going gray (or not!) friends. I’d like to believe that I’m in the “Autumn” stage of life right now, and I don’t want to fight the inevitable. I want to embrace every season. But I refuse to go gray. Refuse. I’m not saying I’m going to color my hair. (This is about so much more than a few gray strands!) What I am saying is that I want to stay alive, vibrant, excited about each new day, not conceding to days that are more dull and gray. I want my attitude to say Spring even though my outward appearance may say “Winter is on it’s way!” I want to see the winter berries, not the sea of gray. Maybe that’s why, the more gray I see, the more I love the following verse:
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
I think that’s the bottom line for me as a believer in Christ. It’s all about perspective. So in the morning, I’m not going to fix my eyes on the gray. (Actually, yes I will!) But hopefully only ‘momentarily’… Hopefully, I can fix my eyes on the unseen truths of scripture that help me grow in wisdom and grace and hope and joy. The Word of God talks about the life in us is growing and being renewed, and that’s what our time with the Lord does. It renews us so that, we may be like Autumn or Winter on the outside, but growing like Spring on the inside. Spring. Vibrant, Full of Life. Women who have lived and learned and loved and now shine from the inside out with the grace that comes from knowing God in a way that they didn’t know in the early seasons of life.
He does the renewing. We just need to do the accepting, and then look for beauty in the ever changing landscape (or mirror!). And when we least expect it, we might just see (or better yet, be, like) beautiful red winterberries in a sea of gray.