Tuesday, February 19, 2019

What is the color of evil?

What is the color of evil? Is evil blue or is evil white?

In ancient times the concept of “blue” as a color did not exist. Blue was considered a temporary surface condition like “shiny”.

Consider the sea. It is blue, right? Nope. Take a dipper of water out of the sea and it is clear...definitely not blue.

How about grapes? Are grapes blue? Nope. Squish them and leave it for a bit and grapes reveal their true nature to be red.

Perhaps you recall that Homer describes the sea as “dark wine” color in the Iliad. What is wine made from? Grapes. What is the most common color of ripe grapes? What we call blue. Given the inability to define “blue” as a color, the best Homer could do for an adjective to describe the sea was to call it “wine, dark”.

On the other hand, if you take most solid substances and grind them finely enough they turn white. The powder is white. Therefore the substance must be white inside. It's true nature is white.

Is it “...deliver us from all that is evil...” or “...deliver us from evil...”

Is evil a temporary surface condition like “shiny”? Is it a suit we put on and can remove with no effort? Is it a non-durable adjective or adverb that is subordinate to the object or action. Is evil blue?

"Deliver us from all that is evil...", “...deliver us from the blue house.” or “...deliver us from diseases that are mortal...”

Or is evil like Mark Twain’s observation, “Beauty may be skin deep but ugly runs to the bone.” That is, does evil permeate the entire nature of a person, thing or action? Is evil white?

The idea that evil is inherent suggests that redemption is difficult if not impossible. It also implies that inanimate objects can be inherently evil. Are guns evil? Are computer keyboards or rope or E. coli or castor beans inherently and irredeemably evil?

If you give it a little bit of thought you might come to the conclusion that evil starts out as a temporary condition...like a vine climbing on a brick wall. But over the years the roots sink into the mortar and the vine cannot be removed without destroying the wall. Over the years we let evil strike roots into us until the ugly reaches into our bone.

The good news is that with the grace of the Holy Spirit, goodness grows from superficial to becoming a part of who we are. When first married my wedding ring was loose. I had to take if off when swimming.

Over the years my fingers grew into the ring and now it is permanently riveted in place.


  1. Simple truth but so often overlooked. Excellent reminder.

  2. Simple truth but so often overlooked. Excellent reminder.

  3. Good one. I'm still thinking on it - and probably will be for a while.

    An excellent (geeky) reference is a Babylon 5 episode, Passing Through Gethsemane which is a really good redemption story.


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