Saturday, April 17, 2021

Full Color

(Art from the cover of In my Heart)

I read Heaven is for Real years ago. It really weighed heavily on me at the time, the idea that I could never know if this story was real or if it was just a clever trick that raked in a lot of money for that family. 
A line that has stuck with me for all these years is one where Colton tells his father Heaven has colors we have never even seen down here. 

When I was little, the concept of eternity haunted me. It was always on my mind and I could never quite grasp it. I remember crying to my mom, "I can understand that God will keep going forever but I can't understand that he has always been. I just think, 'but when did that start?'" 

Ever since I read that book, I marvel instead over the possibility of there being colors I've never seen. How can that be? And why color? Does that even matter? 

Then one day, when I was still on Instagram, I randomly stumbled upon Enchroma. Enchroma makes special corrective lens glasses that change the contrast of the world so color blind people can suddenly see a full range of colors. 

Enchroma has amassed quite a collection of videos showing a person's reaction the first time they put the glasses on. 

"That's purple?!" 
"Holy... Wow." 
"Oh! That's green!" 
"I've never seen these before!" 

And so many tears! A young man trying them at school and standing up to take in a colorful poster of the periodic table of elements. A father seeing his red-haired sons' bright red hair for the first time. So many people tearing up as they marvel over the beauty of the world around them, at grass and flowers and their children's eyes. 

My favorite is of a man in his 60s telling the camera person he's been color blind his whole life and that this means more to them than it does to him. He tells them he's seen the videos where people get emotional but "I'm not going to get emotional." And then, of course, he gets emotional. 

It's my favorite because this man is a composite of my men. Enneagram 8s. My husband, my dad, and I suspect my grandpa. Strong, tough, possibly slightly-less-mortal-than-the-rest-of-us men. In my childhood I thought all men were like these men. Now, I of course know this isn't true. Then, it seemed like a given. 

No one is immune to awe and wonder. No one is immune to beauty. 

I think about these often. I think about their reactions and think about what Colton Burpo said Heaven is like. Colors we've never even seen? 

I can't wait. 

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