There’s a version of this on my school’s blog site called Stories at MHGS; you’re lucky because you can also read it here (but please go to the link and see some of the other amazing words my fellow learners have to share).
I learned from a very young age to speak of the world in ‘black and white’ terms where everything can be separated into two camps: it’s either this or that, us or them, me or you. This was the product of what I would label ‘legalism’ or maybe it was simply the Southern Christian culture in which I found myself in. I was unwilling or unable to acknowledge the gray areas of life. Since coming to Seattle and choosing Mars Hill Graduate School as my place of further education I have had many transformations – educationally and personally (although those are not mutually exclusive of each other). While the weather in Seattle leans mostly towards the gray spectrum these days I’ve learned to see the beauty of the colors in everything. More specifically, to speak in black, white, and gray terms means that I tend to ignore the bright, beautiful, splendid colors that our Creator uses when (S)he creates – vibrant greens, plush reds, cheery yellows, ominous oranges, brilliant blues, purples that take your breath away… how could I be so unaware of the beauty that permeates my reality?
More specifically, I cannot speak of psychology without the conversation leading back into a theological realm. These two are not mutually exclusive of each other, and to speak of one without speaking of the other comes across as a blatant disregard of reality. How can I speak of attachment theory without acknowledging the deep interconnectedness in which God seems to have created us for relationship with others? Can I really talk about having a therapeutic relationship between therapist and client where the issues of God, salvation, evil, and redemption are not addressed? Is it even possible that therapy is only a process of goal setting and not about a holistic experience where the client, regardless of their religious beliefs, finds Truth, Light, and Love? Whether the client will call those things God, I cannot say, but there are as many words for God as there are stars in the sky.
I hope to keep the eyes of my heart open to seeing and enjoying the different shades of color that surround me, to see the beauty in every shade, every brush stroke, and imagine every bit of laughter that must have come from the Creator after a particular picture came into focus. This does not take away the beauty of a gray day but perhaps helps to see the beauty in the ordinary, to be aware that within the shade of gray exists a myriad of other colors used to create what we call ‘gray.’ Watch a sunrise at some point in time, and not just the point where you actually get to see the sun rise but the hour before, when you feel like the world in cloaked in blackness and you get to watch the birth of light to the day; even if the clouds keep the sun hidden you will see the light being brought forth by the decrease of the natural order, put in place by the Creator, and you will bear witness to the beauty of the gray.