Red is the new white

Jan. 2017 issue

I’m not much of a resolution maker because I don’t want to lie to myself and to God.  I will make one or two some years.  Last year, I resolved to pray for our President when I felt like criticizing him.  I wasn’t perfect in keeping it although I did do better.  Maybe resolutions are goals to aim for. This year, I resolve to be less judgmental.

Those who know me well have heard me confess that being judgmental is a sin in my life. I know that is not what God would have me be, even though some friends have tried to soften my confession by telling me I was just being a “fruit inspector. By their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20) But sometimes I judge by appearance, language, and even deeds.

Children listen to adults’ words; thereby, they add images to their minds and vocabulary.  A teacher was praising a little girl for her art work.  Another teacher told her, “You should see the paintings her mom and grandmother do. It must be an inherited talent.  I think they are part Indian,” she added. (I don’t know what that would have to do with it.)

Later the girl’s teacher commented to the child, “Someone told me you are part Indian.  What tribe?”

“I’m not sure,” replied the young artist, “but I believe I’m part Red Neck.” Someone had planted that word of prejudice in the child’s vocabulary.

Well, as my columns often do, this one follows a stream of consciousness. I got red on my mind. My beautician told me one of her clients has an autistic grandson. He loves his teacher, Mrs. Register, much (he always called her Mrs. Red Shirt because he couldn’t say Register).  Recently, he went to her desk and just had an autistic come-apart.  He was so distressed another teacher heard him and came in to see if she could help.  She held him to calm the child.  Finally she asked him, “What’s wrong; why are you so upset?”

“Mrs. Red Shirt is hurt; her wips (lips) are bweeding (bleeding.)”  She was wearing bright red lipstick that day.

I had praised a church member’s beautiful red blooming plant one Christmas.  I had asked what kind it was.  She told me it was an Amaryllis.  Later I found an envelope with my name on it in my Sunday school room.  When I got to the car, I asked my husband why anyone would give me one turnip. I don’t even like turnips and have never cooked them.  I just put it aside and dismissed the dilemma. Later the lady asked if I found the Amaryllis bulb she left for me. I’m glad we didn’t eat it.

Normally we think of white for New Years, I suppose to remind us we have a blank slate to begin a new year.  Mine must be red this time, so I guess red is the new white for me.

Lord, I pray I will have a fresh beginning, a do-over. and please forgive me and make my sinful, judgmental self white as snow,

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18.


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