We are such a comparmentalizing, either/or people, arent’t we?
We want each washcloth to be folded and neatly stacked. If we could give each one its own zip locked, mesh, linen bag, that would be extra comforting. That way, it won’t come unfolded, get wrinkled, or tumble out of the linen closet when we open the door. It will stay contained.
But what if the stack tumbles over, the bags come unzipped?
To use another analogy, what if the play dough colors get put away in *eek!* the wrong containers?
Clay will become swirly, a merry mix of blue, green and red, yellow and purple to make **double eek!** a warm shade of gray. (All you play-dough separators out there — and I KNOW you’re out there — this is NOT directed at you personally. Go with the analogy okay?)
We don’t like gray much, do we? We want the colors (and people and ideas) to stay obediently in their places.
Moms stay in the home.
Dad’s are the bread earners.
Women are the ones who communicate emotions.
Men want respect above all else.
Men are the analytical thinkers. Women’s views are skewed by hormones and feelings.
We can do only one role well, or other roles will suffer.
Or we apply this to issues of faith, wanting there to be an “in” club and an “out” club. Because it’s not fair if I do all this work to be in the “in” club only to find out it’s ALL the “in” club, is it? And those gender role stereotypes come heavily into play in the church, even when we think we’re being forward minded.
What if we were able to see the beauty and relief of gray?
What if we focused on the coolness a shadow provides after the burning rays of the sun?
What if we admired the texture of an elephant’s skin instead of criticizing it for being less vibrantly colored than an exotic bird?
What if we valued the creative process of expression that produced that marbled mix of all colors when a child finished with that clay, instead of painstakingly separating out the colors and returning them to their yellow containers with corresponding lids?
It seems that some people feel that to not know the answer to a difficult question is indicative of not knowing the answers to any questions, and this inhibits them from seeing an opportunity to learn more or reexamine long-held suppositions. It makes people more uncomfortable to sit with the question than it does to spit out an answer they haven’t thought about in years.
What if we were okay with the question, even if that left us in the gray?
Lots and lots of questions here today, but I’m going to be bold and ask one more: what is your take on this? There, I did it. That was just one more. I’m a woman of my word.