Seeing Color for the First Time
By George Sosich
Some degree of color blindness affects around 8% of men and less than 1% of women. The degree of disability ranges from mild inability to differentiate between certain colors to achromatopsia or total color blindness. This means that there are some people among us that cannot enjoy the full spectrum of beautiful colors that God has splashed into His creation.
Recently, however, many of these people have been able to see colors for the first time in their lives with the aid of a new type of glasses produced by a company called EnChroma. EnChroma glasses work by using specially developed technology that selectively filters out wavelengths of light at the precise point where confusion or excessive overlap of color sensitivity occurs, allowing the wearer to see colors more accurately or even for the first time. While for some users the difference is not so stark, many users report life-changing improvements in their color vision.
I recently happened to come across a series of videos of color-blind people being presented with a pair of these amazing glasses. In most cases the glasses were given as a gift by relatives or friends, and in settings surrounded by other loved ones and various items of vivid colors such as balloons and flowers. I was moved to tears by some of the reactions. Many of them were overcome with emotion and burst into tears at seeing some colors for the very first time. Some excitedly pointed at various objects, asking in wonderment things like, “Is that purple?” “Is that orange?” Others were so overwhelmed that they simply sat down.
Observing these reactions reminded me of the biblical verse 1 Corinthians 2:9:
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
We live in an amazingly beautiful world and our spirits inhabit equally amazing bodies by which we, through our five senses, can enjoy many wonderful experiences. We can view stunningly beautiful sunsets and many other scenes of nature in all its glory. We can enjoy a vast array of delicious foods and drinks. We can listen to inspiring music that lifts the soul. We can be relaxed by a soothing massage, and so much more.
But these experiences are not completely perfect. Unfortunately, right now, like the color-blind person, we are limited in our ability to fully enjoy God’s creation and the beauty of nature. The entry of sin into the world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience set in motion evil forces that have put God’s original creation out of sync. Take a walk in a beautiful forest and you might have to contend with the bugs or foul weather. Do you love snow? Careful you don’t get frostbite. Love food? Don’t overeat or eat something that doesn’t agree with you or get food poisoning. Neither are our bodies perfect. We get tired, we get sick, and some even suffer debilitating chronic conditions. There is so much that is good and beautiful to enjoy in this life, but along with it there always seems to be some sort of obstacle to that enjoyment as well. The reason being that creation is still under the curse.
But that will change the day we enter heaven! Revelation 22:3 tells us that “there will be no more curse.” The impediments to our ability to enjoy beauty and nature will be completely removed. On that day we, like the wearers of the EnChroma glasses, will be overwhelmed by the beauty we behold.
Those who have had near-death experiences report that they visited a place of indescribable beauty. A land that is very much similar to our world as it is, but so much more beautiful. They say that the flowers and trees are so much more vivid in color. Some claim to have seen colors and heard sounds not known to us now. Some described the music and sound as so much more beautiful and harmonic than anything they’ve ever heard.
C. S. Lewis in his famous book Mere Christianity said that the pleasures we enjoy on this earth are mere copies, echoes, or mirages of their true realities in heaven.
If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.—C. S. Lewis1
Every saved believer will one day be catapulted from this life, where we now “see through a glass darkly,”2 to the heavenly realm, where we will “see God face to face” and finally be able to see and experience His creation in all its magnificent color and glory. Like the first-time wearers of the EnChroma glasses, we will be overcome with the euphoric exhilaration of the moment. I’m greatly looking forward to that day.
1 C. S. Lewis (1898–1963) in Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins, 1980), 136–37.
2 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV.
- Living in God’s Word
- God’s Healing Balm in Times of Grief
- Hurry and Worry
- One Thing Before All Things
- Faith Like Gold
- Learning About God’s Mercy
- Trusting Through the Silence
- A Life Well Lived, Today and for the Future
- How God Gave Me a Home
- Setting Our Affections on Things Above