Recently, I had a lot of fun “staging” my River cottage to be attractive to those “surfing” the Zillow internet looking for a place to call their River home. In my first effort I went for serenity, calmness – a “peaceful” color palette. Isn’t that how I had so abundantly experienced my time there in recent years – like a retreat, a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle and busy-ness of life? A healing place in the midst or aftermath of personal or world-wide events impacting life. Isn’t that what the current “market” of bigger city folks would be seeking, too?
After my first go at this, I excitedly but nervously invited reaction from my real estate agent. The freshly painted white walls glowed, the dark wood-colored floors in bedrooms and the living room and the slate stone floors in the “river” room and other rooms gave, I hoped, a grounded warm, earthy appeal. Other colors highlighted in furnishings were soft, primarily in the pale green to grey-blue spectrum of nature colors.
My agent seemed relatively pleased. But at the end of the tour she commented, “Maybe, how about a bit of color!” As I scoured through my closets, cabinets, and all that I had hidden away earlier so as to achieve a serene space, I got excited. Wow! I didn’t realize just how much I had accumulated over time in the red, orange, yellow spectrum of the color palette of my life. “Of course,” I excitedly realized, “How much I love sunrises, sunsets, a crackling fire in my riverside fire pit or home hearth! Throwing a red sweater over my routine black and white wardrobe familiars.” And so, I sprinkled small “pops” of red, orange, yellow throughout my cottage. The contrast of cool and warm (even hot) colors seemed to make the spaces come alive.
Pentecost is about the gift of the Spirit of God infusing energy into creation – specifically the human elements of God’s created order. The Holy Spirit is often depicted as a white dove and perhaps, most often, as invisible: wind, breath. However, at Pentecost the Holy Spirit is fire, flame! The amazing passionate energy of God’s Spirit designed to in-Spirit us in ways that energize us to move forward – to excite us into the work of re-creation, to fire us up with its creative energy and inspire us.
The colors of Pentecost, of excited, in-passioned energy and creativity are the firing up colors: red, orange, yellow. Those colors, as with fire, warm us, excite us, call us to live into the energy we feel rising up from within. The colors of a brilliant, breath taking sunrise or sunset – each of these natural wonder-full transition times present a fiery sun in its endless cycle of endings and beginnings to our daily lives.
Pentecost ushers in ordinary time in our liturgical and spiritual calendar. It is happening this year on this upcoming Sunday as we are emerging from a solitary, fearful pandemic time. Sunset on the pandemic; sunrise on a new beginning.
So, in celebration, don the Pentecost colors this Sunday – any variation of RED. It is time to live forward into the excitement of being alive, creative, inspired, in-spirited, exuberant, joyfully showing up on God’s paint palette to spark new beginnings!
By God's amazing grace in our lives, may it be so . . . . .