It happened again.
Came to work only to have to same group of folks already clogging our little office space, needing coffee, needing the bathroom, needing a place to sit, needing the thrift store opened early, needing VIP access to some stuff from the food bank… needing, needing, needing.
Sometimes I can be a real ass.
Thank heavens for patient co-workers who pick up the slack when I really drop the ball. I didn’t want these same people hovering over us AGAIN, hanging around all day AGAIN… don’t these people have better places to be than here???? (some do, some don’t) Call it a personal space issue, a boundary issue, an up-too-late-writing-this-monster-thesis issue, call it whatever…
… colours started to show.
Hmmm… that got me to thinking (again).
Why is that when someone begins to act negatively, we dump our shit on colours? Aren’t colours supposed to enhance and mystify, not trap and accuse? I guess there are many ways we could come at it. It just seems unfair to me that we blame colours — glorious colours — for people’s attitudes and actions.
More than that, it seems grossly unfair that when people act unjustly or unfairly, we call these their “true colours”.
It’s like we’re calling injustice, cruelty, pettiness or whatever it is we don’t like about The Other “true”. I don’t know if I like creating a colourful picture of injustice as “true”.
Rarely we hear people gush over a gracious person, a loving person or a just person, saying “Well aren’t they showing their TRUE colours?”. We speak colours into the negative and create a form of judgemental artisanship with people’s lives.
To me, when people are vulnerable or in negative places, these are but a part of who we are.
Maybe a few parts.
But not all of our parts.
Not all of our colours.
Grace… offensive grace, as Brennan Manning would call it… leaves little room for us to point fingers, judging what someone’s “true colours” are. Most of us, in fact, would be pretty pissed off if someone pointed their fingers at us and declared “Well now I know your TRUE colours!”
My guess is that we are a twisted, messy, dripping, out-of-focus rainbow of colours all existing at once. And all of them are true — the good, the bad and the ugly. If we’re going to point out someone’s true colours, we had better well be prepared to be pointing at the good, the amazing, the wondrous, the lovely, the broken, the compassionate and the difficult as well as the bad, the mean, the cruel, the judgmental or whatever.
Are we prepared?
And if someone presents colours we know are not authentic of that person, I would suggest that then those colours are false only to that person. False colours, exposing maybe a true colour of deception or sleight-of-hand, but still… not the whole colourful person.
Time to take back colours.
Time to receive, believe, give and take grace… Jesus’ grace… offensive grace that tells us: “Even as a grumpy, worn out grad student who is taking out her temper on neighbors, you are loved. All of your colours are loved. Your colours are God’s colours. Period.”