One of the bonuses of fall (besides the obvious: spices, pumpkins, orange-yellow-rose, sweaters, scarves, etc. etc.) is that the leaves fall off the trees and you can see what's been hidden for 7 months. This is especially fortunate for us, as we live on the 8th floor and our windows are surrounded by trees. Across the street there's a parking lot for an apartment building, and for the first time all year we can see it.
There are a bunch of cars in the parking lot (you didn't need me to tell you that, I'm sure). Lots of residents exercised adult sensibilities when they were purchasing their cars, and there are rows of gray and black, some silver, several white, and one or two deep maroon.
But one person—one blessed, carefree, personality filled person—has a bright yellow mustang.
Honestly, it stands out like a sore thumb.
But at the same time, it is refreshing, bright, and, well... Yellow. Which is the color of sunshine and bumble bees (inside the black stripes, of course) and daffodils, all wonderful things.
I continue at the risk of drawing an analogy that's too complex or far-fetched.
It's easy to feel like the yellow mustang in a world full of gray and silver cars. Some of what defines me is absolute: my faith, my family, my husband Curtis (he's very wonderful), my definite introverted personality. Other parts of who I am are a choice: cheerful, buoyant, thoughtful, and careful.
The absolutes are like the parts of the car that it can't run without—engine, axles, gears, tires (a proper mechanic could lend a lot to this analogy).
The choices are like the aesthetics: leather or upholstery, fancy chrome rims, and the paint job.
The problem with people (myself included) is that we struggle to see past the yellow paint. This in turn makes our interactions with most people about as meaningful as a drive-by speculation on the color of someone's car. We assume that everything we see on the outside is everything they are on the inside, and go from there.
It's not practical. It's not relational. But it's certainly easier.
Looking past the paint is hard—it takes work, it takes sacrifice, and it's not always comfortable.
But it's so worth it, because under the paint people are individual, odd, and beautiful, and so much more than just yellow or gray.
The color is very important, but the buck shouldn't stop there.