My precious brother Wycliffe, I am so thankful for your friendship. I know we live worlds apart – you in a remote village in western Kenya and me in a golf course community in Central Texas. But when we share notes of encouragement and requests for prayer, the distance and the differences seem to fade away. You’ve taught me so much – about the power in a single crayon and what it really looks like to dedicate your life to something good and how to press soil and concrete together to make bricks. You’ve given me the most beautiful compliment ever – you called me a living reference for the vulnerable – and you’ve called me your sister.
Yes, my friend, we are family.
And now you come with a question – “What is the color of Christmas lights?” Christmas lights – a standard here in the United States, where tree farms serve up perfectly designed noble firs and department stores offer all the twinkle and sparkle money can buy. But when electricity is a luxury and the climate is unforgiving, trees and tinsel hide away in storybook pictures.
And I’ve never thought about the colors before. Until you, Wycliffe. Until now.
So Wycliffe, what is the color of Christmas lights?
Yellow, like the new mercies that rise with the sun.
Green, like peaceful fields offering rest in the chaos.
Blue, like the depths of love the God of wonder has for His own.
Red, like the redemption that washes over us and transforms us completely.
White, like the purest of hearts that hold ours so carefully.
And Wycliffe, just look around- you have the colors with you too, eclipsing anything I’d ever find here in the US.
You have the yellow of sunrises and the green of sugar cane fields. There’s the blue of the sky and welcoming front doors of mud hut homes, the red clay of earth and tomatoes from the greenhouse, and the white of each child’s smile as they drink fresh milk from the cows who live in the little stable down the way. And there are a million colors in-between, caught in the branches of trees and in the clouds that roll in on rainy afternoons. If I could, I would bring this little strand of lights to you and we would laugh at how my wire and filament pale in comparison to the wonder of your reality.
If I could, Wycliffe, I would trade Christmas with you. Because while our celebration of giving lasts for a season, yours is alive every day.
Christmas is with you, Wycliffe. And it is beautiful.