Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 22, 2002
Colour God's world beautiful
By MSGR. JIM LISANTE
Back around the beginning of the year, a couple of astronomers at a well-known university made headlines by announcing that they had determined the colour of the universe: a light turquoise.
Maybe because most of us had probably never thought about such a thing, or because the colour itself was rather pleasing - bright yet peaceful, combining elements of sea and sky - the idea intrigued a lot of people.
Unfortunately, a couple of months later came the bad news: it wasn't true. The scientists and their computer program had combined to make a mistake.
The original survey of 200,000 galaxies, or large star systems, was actually designed to learn more about the history of star formation; the colour question was just an afterthought based on the average colour of all the light in all those galaxies. It was discovered that, in fact, the computer program skewed toward green. And the average colour is now believed to be beige.
Beige is a let-down - a perfectly nice neutral colour, but boring. Still, the whole incident has made me think about all the colours and textures and smells and all the everyday amazing wonders we tend to take for granted.
Looking for some words on the subject, I found this prayer in an old Christopher News Note. It's worth sharing:
God help me to feel wonder - in a leaf, in a ray of sun, in a snowfall.
Little children have the most incredible sense of wonder. Everything is new and fresh. We adults think that "been there, done that" shows our experience, even sophistication. But it's really a little sad. If we knew so much, wouldn't we be more overcome in awe of God's creation, not less?
So, this spring, when the much-needed rains come, look down at the muddy puddles and shining grass, then look up at the sullen sky.
Eventually you will see a rainbow. Beautiful and fleeting, it's something that even the most jaded among us will stop to take notice.
Think about God's words to Noah, "I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth....When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember" (Genesis 9:13,16).
Surely, there can be nothing boring about God's universe. Come to think of it, not even beige.
(For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, Being a Good Neighbour, write: The Christophers, 12 East 48 St., New York, NY, 10017; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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