Into the Gray – #SoCS

The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “black, gray, and white.” Use one, use ’em all. Bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!

We hate gray.

Admit it.

OK, I’ll admit it.

Well, I guess what I should admit is that I USED to hate gray. I yearned for “black and white” and a high-contrast, easily detectable “THAT” rather than “THIS”. Of course, the knowledge of what was “black/that” and what was “white/this” had to be accompanied by clear instructions of which should be embraced and which should be rejected.

THEN, everything is easy – right?

Well, I guess it can be, as long as you ONLY surround yourself with people adhering to the exact same black/white demarcations as yours.

Which, if you look around at all, is pretty much what people try to do…

These days, anyone who says the Bible is “crystal clear” on anything beyond “God is love” is immediately suspect in my mind.

“Ben, the Bible is CRYSTAL clear” – on THAT thing, in MY circle of adherents who translate and interpret the Bible in a certain way so that WE can be free from gray (Most people leave that second part off, but it’s always there, and it’s always true).

And before anyone jumps to the worn out “you’re just looking for reasons to sin” mantra, let me drop a little bit of Jesus on you.

 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. 

Bummer, dudes. So much for your black and white. Jesus likes the gray.

As a kid, I read these passages with despair. “Well, crap. I guess I’m screwed. Looks like I’m ALWAYS going to be liable to ‘judgment’ and ‘the hell of fire.

Yup – that was his point.

Unfortunately, some took the words of Jesus literally rather than as the hyperbole that is intended and created hyper-holy, super-ascetic, blinded to the ‘world’ enclaves and called them “churches”.


20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Do you REALLY think Jesus was calling for a people who would follow the law BETTER and MORE CLOSELY than the Pharisees? Of course not! Have you read anything else Jesus said or did? He was not a Pharisee fan. They sought to make everything black and white. Jesus was not telling this new crop of followers to be MORE black and white in order to be “righteous”; he was calling them into the gray.

The problem with black and white (and “law” in general) is that we will always seek the loopholes, ways to actually break a law but say that we didn’t:

“Yes, I pushed him out the window, but I didn’t kill him. The pavement that hit his falling head killed him.”

“Yes, I shot him (them – three of them, actually), but I was in fear for my life. He was on a very menacing SKATEBOARD.”

Not guilty.

See, we don’t REALLY like black and white, at least when it comes down to OURSELVES or the people LIKE US. We like it when we can impose it on the “others”.

Here is the danger of a stream of consciousness free write. This went an entirely different direction than I thought it would, and now I’m not even sure what point I am trying to make.

And maybe that’s the point.

We get so wound up in right/wrong, black/white, up/down, in/out binaries, we forget there is an entire spectrum to choose from.

We forget about “it depends”.

We forget about “what works for them may not work for me” (and vice versa).

We work so hard to REMEMBER what we SHOULD do that we FORGET to just DO the thing.

The next thing.

The next RIGHT thing.

Oh man – how do I know what is right?

Well, sometimes knowing right is not a black and white thing.

Sometimes right is in the gray.

And I didn’t even go HERE…

Far more than gray lies between the black and white.

And as I look at this color chart, I’m having a hard time even finding gray. It has to be there, right?

Art/design friends? Physicists?

I’m stumped.

And maybe THAT is the point.

#SoCS comes from the website of Linda G. Hill.

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

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