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Football and Flowers- A Study in Contrasts

October 4, 2016

 

An unlikely pairing, to be sure; the rough and tumble, fan-frenzied game and the delicate

 seasonal bloom, what do they have in common? A shared visual interest – complementary colors. Whoever thought of pairing burgundy and gold, orange and blue, purple and yellow? Mother Nature, of course.

 

We learn in Art 101 that hues opposite on the color wheel bring striking contrast. What we may never envision when choosing a room palette jumps to life in a bouquet and on the friendly field of strife.

 

And could this be true in life, too? Opposites certainly attract.

 

Where would day be without night? Black be without white? Redskins be without Cowboys?

 

While harmony is achieved through similar hues (think blue and green), Va va voom happens when blue meets yellow or green bumps into orange.

 

When placed next to each other, complementary colors create the strongest contrast, yet when combined, they cancel each other out. That means when blended together they produce a grey-scale color like white or black.  Due to the striking color clash, the term ‘opposite colors’ is used more often than the appropriate term: ‘complementary colors’.

 

Strong. Contrast.

 

Beauty for ashes... the poor shall be rich... mountains will be made low... a king born in a stable.

 

The good news two thousand years ago is the same today – God sees things much differently than we do. While we want things to be harmonious and easy, it is the contrast, the conflict, the constraints that push us past the known into something more.

 

Complement is not the same as compliment. It is not a nice thought or word, it means bringing a thing to completion.

 

How can we see the light if we haven’t groped in the dark?

 

All of God’s creation is filled with this truth.

 

Slowly pushing a walker through a virtual riot of flowers, John Douza, former president of Bergman County Dahlia society, tends his dahlias twice daily. From compact Pom Poms to giant dish-sized heads, he has been propagating these bulbs for more than 50 years. Barely able to steady himself, he reaches out and clips off all the side shoots, so that his main flowers are big, beautiful specimens. I watch in amazement that a man this limited is the keeper of these limitless beds. Contrasts. They exist everywhere.

 

What will I choose to see today?

 

A feeble man barely able to bend over. A field of flowers that bring glory to God and beauty to an otherwise ordinary lawn.

 

I go and talk to this stranger, to appreciate his gardening. He tells me the history of his flowers, of his life, really. He tells me about the 16 varieties of dahlias and how he digs each one out two weeks after the first frost. He tells me how he gathers seeds, names new varieties after his grandchildren, stores them all winter in his garage.

 

I am amazed – not simply by the scope and breadth of what he has achieved in his yard, but at the richness of a life dressed in old slippers and a faded shirt.

 

Completion comes in unexpected ways.

 

Will I choose to see the beauty in the contrasts around me? Inside me? Will I struggle in my weakness, trying to cover it up and miss the opportunity God has to show me His strength?

 

I dare you today to take off the lens of comfortable and put on some shades of contrast. Whether in nature or nurture, stretch yourself to see and interact with eyes that look beyond – beyond the difficult, the tired, ordinary and ugly. Ask God to show you what’s been missing. He promises us that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

 

Opposites don’t just attract, they complete.

 

I include this video today that shows unexpected beauty. If you have a couple minutes, I believe it demonstrates this point better than I could ever describe: I'm so Blessed

 

Will you share your dare today? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear :)

 

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