Every day, he walked past our house carrying the latest edition of the newspaper. We called him the purple coat guy because that’s what he always wore, winter or summer.
I happened to meet him one day and I told him about his nickname. He didn’t explain the purple coat but he did explain the walking.
“I read that walking a mile a day would help you live ten years longer. I said to myself, I can do that. So everyday, I walk to the store, buy a newspaper and walk home. That is exactly a mile.”
Years passed and purple coat guy walked by every day, then all of a sudden he stopped walking. We missed our conversation piece. We wondered about his health and his very life.
Months passed and no purple coat guy. Then one day, I happened to really look at the face of the chap who carried a newspaper past our door every morning, Purple Coat Guy, alive and well, wearing a grey jacket and in his twelfth year of walking!
Mark 4:12a- they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding (NIV)
We couldn’t see what was in front of our face all that time, just because appearances change.
How many of us are like that? We happily trust God when he is wearing the purple coat of familiar. There everything looks safe and fine and right. But when trouble hits, when things don’t go our way, we assume the worst. We refuse to recognize that God is still good, and kind and loving in the midst of whatever it is.
Prayer: God, we easily recognize you in your purple coat of love when our lives are great. Help us also recognize you in the grey of any circumstance. In Christ's name. Amen.