Shades of grey


by Christine Berglund

Some of my readers will remember a time, as I do, when television was in black and white, and so were photographs, which took days and days to get processed into prints.

It was in the same era when most moral questions seemed to be a simple black and white, also. Right was right, and wrong was wrong, and two wrongs did not make a right; no if’s, and’s, or but’s.

You didn’t talk back to parents or teachers. You did your best and behaved in school, or else. Babies were blessings to be loved and cared for, not a “choice.”

Granted, there were wrong-headed people in authority sometimes, and their rules needed to be questioned. We thank legends like Rosa Parks or Mahatma Ghandi and others for challenging the system. But, by and large, wasn’t life simpler and happier when people knew what was right, and expected their neighbors to know it too?

The garden’s vibrant palette of color has faded into the grey deadness of winter. The monochrome landscape is dull and dreary. Even the new green growth that promises floral delights seems fairly nondescript at this season of the year.

Happily, we were blessed last night by a lovely little snowfall, and I just got a chance to look at the digital pictures that I took this morning. Most of them, while taken in full color, nevertheless could be mistaken for sepia or old black and white snapshots. That is how colorless the yard looks at this time.

So yes, there really is black and white in the world today! Some people may not like that. They don’t like having right and wrong explained , or the contrast pointed out. But there is a season to do that.

We need to be faithful enough to the scriptures to use our Photoshop contrast tool when the need arises to point out right from wrong, black from white.

Sometimes shades of grey are meant solely as an excuse for slight wrongdoing. We tend to lean toward the grey areas, thinking it indicates possession of the oft-overrated attribute of tolerance. Often the answer to a question really is in black or white.

Absolute truth does exist, and we can find solutions to moral quandaries through a careful study of Scripture and the model of the perfect Christ.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32, KJV).

Other times, we may prefer to shade the truth a little, maybe make it softer. This is why I have never asked my husband, “Does this dress make me look fat?” Shading the truth is still lying.

I dislike the grey winter, which is why it’s so nice when the snow covers it up a little. Even my infamous “pot ghetto” looked pretty this morning, with the bunched up pots covered all snug under a blanket of whiteness.

We have such a covering for our own mistakes. Oh, wait; I just used a “shades of grey” term for sin. There is a covering for our sins, our blatant transgressions against a holy God. That covering is found in Jesus.

“Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Romans 4:7, 8).

We all know in our hearts those “grey areas” that we are uncomfortable with; whether outright black or maybe a shade of grey. By the grace of God they are still covered by the blood of Christ, and He has made us white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). Isn’t that refreshing.


2 thoughts on “Shades of grey

  1. A beautiful..peaceful picture. Love it. And..your article is right on and the way I was brought up ..I truly don’t know what has happened to the world, sadly, perhaps we helped it along to where it now is as we grew and developed., thanks for the remembrance of those yesteryear’s. Good job Christine.

  2. Thank you, Shirley! I can’t claim credit for the picture this time. I usually like to send in my own, but this time I sent in a couple of options that I wasn’t really pleased with, and asked Richard if he could find a good stock photo as an alternate. He did do a great job picking one!

    May the Lord help us in bringing back better moral ethics, by spreading knowledge of the truth of His word.

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