The Color Purple

posted Mar 23, 2019, 6:10 AM by Tricia Sheffield   [ updated Mar 23, 2019, 6:12 AM ]

Greetings of peace to you in this season of Lent.

I am grateful that when the mind gets forgetful, or even distracted, the body remembers.

After a few days of gloom and rain, the sun came out on Wednesday. And it came out brilliantly. Eager to take advantage of the warmth, I decided to sweep the front porch. But before I did that, I wanted to collect some sticks for kindling. As I walked around the lawn, what I thought would be a simple task of gathering kindling turned into clearing brush, putting dead limbs into a pile, pulling away choking vines from trees. On I continued, cleaning out winter’s decay. And then, amidst all the brown and gray deadness, a tiny purple flower caught my eye. It was so small I would have missed it if not for the brilliance of its color against the dull colored ground. Looking at it, I remembered what the character Shug said in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” 

I smiled at the flower, glad to see its presence; however, I kept to my task at hand. I was on a mission. Spring brush clean up was to begin in my area March 24th! Clear, clean, sweep, drag, pull.

At some point during my frenzied activity, an interesting thing happened. I began to see more new life breaking through the soil where I hadn’t before. Along the side of the driveway, there were some daffodils; further down the way were some snow drops; behind the house, the tulips and day lilies were emerging. As I kept noticing new life, I could feel energy pulse through me, and I realized I hadn’t felt that invigorated in many months. It occurred to me that even though my mind had seemingly forgotten how much I long for this time of nature’s resurrection, my body had not. It was rejoicing, singing out, humming with all of nature, knowing that amidst the decay was life just waiting to emerge when it was time to do so.

Shug continues her thoughts about the color purple, “People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it [God] always trying to please us back.” I returned to the little flower, got on my stomach, and took a few photos. I stayed that way on the ground for a while, looking at its detail, marveling how fragile it was, but also how resilient it must be to push through the dirt. Breathing a prayer, I thanked God for “pleasing me,” and showing God’s care for the cosmos through the presence of a little, purple flower. I pray you will find some time during Lent to let your body remember what our distracted minds may have forgotten during the winter months: Because of God’s unconditional love for us, new life is slowly, but surely, coming.

In gratitude for the privilege of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish