Monday, March 26, 2012

The Color Purple

Purple is My Favorite Color!
In 1982 The Color Purple was a new novel. It dealt with being a black female in the South. This is where my discussion of the novel, film and subsequent musical ends!

HOWEVER, the color purple has always been my favorite color! It was my grandmother's favorite color and perhaps that is one reason purple first caught my attention as a color of choice but I have always loved the color! In my grammar school days I even had a room with purple walls - well, lavendar, I guess! The many colors available today just weren't then.
Today I was reading on Twitter and discovered what I may have known and let pass right on through my brain - or not known at all - that purple is the color for epilepsy awareness! Apparently today is International Purple Day (with a play off the color International orange - an attempt to raise awareness about epilepsy.
Several of my Twitter friends are urging everyone to wear purple March 26th to commemorate this international day to raise awareness about epilepsy. I probably will - because I usually wear purple in one shade or another just about every day! I am totally for raising awareness about epilepsy. I remember well the first time I ever witnessed a person having a seizure. It was in school. It was scary for everyone and very humiliating for the boy who had the seizure.
There are good and bad aspects to the openness of our culture in 2012. Mostly it is a good thing to talk openly,to understand better, to accept others who are different but sometimes not so much!
One summer Sunday morning in a small church in Virginia a missionary family (Mom, Dad and at least four kids) gave a presentation about their work and ministry in Africa. I have known many missionaries but their presentation was very refreshing, real and a different perspective than I had ever heard so it caught my attention. Actually it shifted my paradigm about cultural differences and many differences in general!
Each person in the family had a little memorized sentence and then the entire family quoted the "refrain" in unison. One said (something like), "In America we get hamburgers, cheeseburgers and french fries at McDonalds; In Africa we don't have McDonalds, hamburgers or french fries." Then they all said, "It's not better or worse; it's just different!" Then another person would make a comparison between life in America and life in Africa like "In America we wash our clothes in
a washing machine; in Africa we wash our clothes on the river bank." [I don't remember the specifics they gave so I'm making these up.] "It's not better or worse; It's just different!"
And THAT, my friend, is exactly how we should treat people we meet and know who are different for whatever reason or in whatever way! We should see them as not better or worse but just different! It goes a LONG way toward building bridges to connect us rather than
divide us!

The BIGGEST reason to build connecting bridges is the "two-year-old answer"! Do you know the "two-year-old answer"? It's the answer any self-respecting two-year-old gives his Sunday School teacher to any and every question asked: "Jesus!" Jesus was and is the biggest bridge builder ever! He spent all his time in ministry on earth building bridges. He built bridges between sinners and the Savior, between Jews and Gentiles through Himself and His cross. He built bridges between disability and ability and through His healing miracles actually made a way for some to walk across from disability to ability!
Because of the Gospel record we know that Jesus healed people with epilepsy. I won't go so far as to presume that Jesus would wear purple today, but I am absolutely certain that His heart of love reaches out to every person afflicted with the disease of epilepsy because He always cares about brokenness in all its forms. He came to redeem all the brokenness sin brought into our world - including epilepsy. The day when He makes all things new (still in the future) will be the day all brokenness is restored to wholeness but - in the meantime - He reaches out to all who are broken and burdened who come to Him! He even seeks all who are broken and burdened to bring His love and healing touch into their brokenness!
Part 2 of about Purple, Disability and Epilepsy tomorrow ............

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