THE REAL MEANING OF RED
I am convinced that red is on the rise.
For many folks, red has become popularized with things like the American flag, Christmas stockings and candy canes, and that ever-annoying messy clay indigenous to certain regions of the United States. “True but contradictory examples,” you say. Perhaps. But red has always had dual meanings and served dual purposes.
Red. It’s the color of blood symbolizing the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22 (NIV) Holy Bible
If Christ’s blood had not been shed on mankind’s behalf, would any of us, as Christians, be enjoying the free gift of His salvation?
Red. It’s the eye color of a newborn’s sleep deprived parents.
Red. It’s the color of welts on the body of a physical abuse victim.
And last, but not least, red is the hue of expressed and unexpressed anger. I can identify with this one.
I see red all the time.
I see it at the grocery store when the inane shopper in front of me thinks he can pass through the twelve items or less express lane with exactly twenty two items in his basket. How do I know that he has twenty two items? Because this is the number of ways I visualize him being tortured by an imaginary check out lane magistrate whose primary responsibility is to administer punishment to shoppers who commit unforgivable grocery store infractions.
I see red at the gas pump when for the second time in three months there is an increase in the price per gallon of petrol. Can the average middle class working person withstand another price hike?
I see red every time one of those commercials for impoverished children in foreign countries is broadcast on television. No, I am not minimizing the gravity of abject poverty abroad, but are Appalachian-hungry or Detroit-hungry children any less important than those unfortunate children in other nations? Hunger has the same impact regardless of the country or the language spoken. Why does it not seem to get the same press in the United States as it does elsewhere?
And I see red, not pink, when I hear that a woman has succumbed to breast cancer when her life could have been spared if the dreaded disease had been detected in its early stages if she’d had medical insurance.
For me, life was much happier when I was a kid and it was just a color associated with simple things in life like my first pull-along wagon, my shiny vinyl raincoat, and the bright ribbons my mother cut from cloth scraps for my pig-tailed hair.
But now? Red is a fiery force to be reckoned with. It has a voice that demands to be heard. I’m not so sure I like how loudly it speaks or what it says. Nevertheless, I know that it needs to be heard and I need to hear it.
Red. It can’t be imitated, ignored, or disintegrated.
It should be handled responsibly lest there be multiple unpleasant consequences in the form of outbursts, grievances, and grudges.
Despite its ferocity, it’s one color in a spectrum of colors in rainbows that leaves me awe-stricken and fills my life with undeniable beauty.
Red. I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to live without it.
Maybe I should focus my attention on the red in rainbows that vividly colors the sky and more often consider how red symbolizes the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary.
Maybe we all should.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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