Saturday, September 13, 2014

We are Orange and Blue

As a writer, occasionally I'll put something in words, then go back and freak out over whether or not my readers will receive it as I intended.  This is the people pleaser in me fighting against my desire to be honest and real.   This most recently happened after I hit "publish" on my Honest Marriage post.  What brought on the sense of insecurity was the use of the two words complimentarian (Carolyn McCulley) and egalitarian (Rachel Held Evans).   As a Christian woman, these terms are loaded with all sorts of connotations, judgments, classifications, emotions even.   They designate being part of either particular movement within the broader body.  After submitting that post, I feared that I would be labeled as one, rejecting the other, as my readers tried to sort where I fit.

Where do I fit?

I'd like to say both... or neither.  Probably in reality I'm mostly complimentary, but I have scriptural and practical concerns about some of the teachings.  I don't believe God's plan for marriage is primarily about roles,  but rather intimacy.  Likewise, I don't love the feminist undertones of the Christian egalitarian movement.  I'm not a feminist because I'm not a victim (more on both of these from a scriptural standpoint later.  Tonight I need to be right brained).  I am so moved by Dr. Wheat's book, Love Life for Every Married Couple because I feel that as a man, he is able to express this issue of equality with scriptural soundness, void of a feminist edge. 

Perhaps my understanding of this issue is a little different than the main stream due to my training in architecture and interior design, as well as my overall nature.  Through my educational background, I understand a few things about the power of complimentary colors.  Orange and blue, for example, are probably my favorite pair.  When working with compliments, it is not essential to have the same measure of parts in order to have equality in overall narrative usage.

Consider this installation piece by contemporary artist Richard Jackson, The Blue Room:



There's something about this that is rather sad feeling.  When looking, I see and open roof, a window and a door, first.  Then I see the woman.  It might seem obvious to assume that she is the subject of the painting, being the human element,  but because of the power of the warm tones, I wonder if Jackson is making a greater commentary on what is happening outside. And then I think of her.  Maybe she feels alone, or trapped within her walls.  What do you think? 

He accomplished this statement through quality, not quantity.  When considering the percentages of color that fill this composition, I'd say the blue is the greater weight.  But the warmth of the orange and yellow tones is no less valid in telling this story simply because the quantity is smaller.  The quality of usage is provoking. 

For a more known example, lets look at this self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh:  


Again, the proportioning of amounts sways much more heavily in the cool blues tones, but look at how much influence the smaller amounts of warm orange tones have in creating the subject of this piece.  I remember writing a biographical paper on Van Gogh during my first year as an undergraduate Interior Architecture student at UNCG.  He was a man of Christian faith who pursued pastoral ministry for a time, yet could not seem to fit in with the general population due to his eccentric nature.  When I look at this self portrait, I wonder if he is telling us this secret, through the monochromatic exteriors, the wall and his clothing, paired with the contrast of his fiery beard and hair:  That he doesn't blend into this world. 

I believe the two theoretical descriptions of Christian womanhood really void themselves of strength when separated.  I am thankful for my husband's strong leadership.  I'm also thankful that my role doesn't have to be equal to his in function  in order to be equal to his in meaning.  We work together.  We are orange and blue. 

I do believe we are equal, but we are equal because we compliment.  And we compliment best when we are not trying to compete, but rather allowing the Lord to put the full composition together.  Sometimes my complimentary role might actually take the lead, but it will do so through wisdom, and careful intentionality, that allows his color to do all that God planned for it to do. 

Striking statements of beauty and influence might very well come when less is more

Thank you for allowing some freedom to muse instead of teaching directly from scripture.  Since I do value the authority of His word, please do not take this as gospel...  just an idea to ponder.  


Also, I do not receive any compensation for mention of books or other resources.  I share about what I love because I love it.  If this ever changes, I will let you all know. 


Related Posts:

Honest Marriage
The Beauty of Chagall Windows for Hospital Ashes