Recently a friend told me that their son was praying for God to reveal Himself. He issued no specific demands of thunder and lightening, or an audible voice, or a miracle cure. Just a polite request for some unmistakable evidence that God exists. The world has been drained of color by the rigors of his dental profession and personal skepticism.

I found a fascinating online article  here https://www.wikihow.com/Describe-a-Color-to-a-Blind-Person. Part One talks about using other senses. Probably you can come up with some like “blue is cool to the touch” and “red is warm or hot to the touch.” But it keeps going. For instance, the article mentions using sound, “blue is bubbly like running water or ocean waves” and smell, “orange is refreshing, sweet, and tropical” and emotions, “green is balance, refreshment, harmony.” Part Two of the article tells you to use numbers (yes, numbers!) to describe variations of shades–just like you can have 1.0,  1.1,  1.2,  1.3,  etc.–you can describe shades of colors on a scale. Pink is a lighter shade of red. Part Three encourages finding out the nature of a person’s blindness. Can the person distinguish light and darkness? Is he color blind? Was she blind from birth?

Okay, so why am I so excited about this? Christians specialize in talking about things that others cannot see. This is different from the parable about six blind men describing an elephant–one grabs the tail and says an elephant is like a rope, another touches the side and says an elephant is like a wall, and so on. They were unable to validate their own limited experience or go beyond individual impressions. Why? They were still blind!

However, when the eyes of our hearts have been enlightened to see the glory of God in the face of Christ (Ephesians 1:18 and 2 Corinthians 4:6), we suddenly see what, or Who, was invisible. Along with the man whom Jesus healed in John 9 we say, “One thing I know. I was blind but now I see” (John 9:25). We have a new challenge. How do we describe Jesus to someone who is visually impaired?

How does God’s grace feel to the touch? Like the safe and welcome embrace of a friend who hugs you, but not too tight and not too long. How does Christ’s forgiveness sound? Like the voice of a non-condemning parent who thrills simply to hear you on the phone and know that you are well. How does the Spirit’s mercy smell? Like the sweet air that follows a summer rain shower that settles the dust and brings relief to parched earth.

I want to think deeply, speak clearly, and describe accurately who Christ is and what the gospel is all about. I am going to have to expand my explanations to include more biblical metaphors. In Scripture, the gospel sounds good (Romans 10:14-15), smells good (2 Corinthians 2:14), tastes good (1 Peter 2:2-3), and feels good (John 14:27). This is not just for touchy-feely types like artists, painters, poets and musicians. This is for everyone. Describing colors to a blind person is the essence of evangelism.

In the aforementioned wikihow article, in the Community Q&A at the end someone asks, “What does gold look like?” I thought the answer was amazing. The contributor said, “Gold is shimmery and bright, like the sun, but more subtle. It has a sort of sharp, firm, but malleable appearance. It is a smiley color and often makes a person feel cheerful or happy. Gold is like a mix of metal and laughter.”

Now, try to describe this to a blind person, “What is salvation like?”

 

 

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