Black and white – has all sorts of associations. For example everything is there in front of you in black and white i.e. it’s all written down for you in a legal form that anyone can understand. I certainly remember the folk group The Spinners (not to be confused with The Detroit Spinners) singing:
“The ink is black, the page is white,
together we learn to read and write (read and write)
And very well the whole world knows
this is the way that freedom grows (freedom grows)”
The song went on to look at prejudice as a whole and show how inappropriate it is.
Black and white also reminds me of a chess board and the opposing pieces, allegedly the game started in Persia and was about teaching military strategy. Not that many armies are identical in size and power so it is down to how you use what you have to gain the objective. Black and white reminds me of my early attempts at photography – it seems like having gone through coloured film and digital, many photographers are rediscovering black and white in the Digital Age. Tones of black can be evocative often more than intense colour.
Black and white have often represented good and bad over the years, in the old cowboy films (black and white films that was) the good guy nearly always wore a white hat whilst the ‘baddie’ wore black. So even if you came into the film part way through you knew who the hero was. As a child everything was either good or bad (black or white), however once we become adults there is this grey area that appears between the two. As we get older the grey area gets larger while the others shrink.
What is important in our lives is to look at everything from a Christian viewpoint. To ask ourselves the question “What would Jesus do or say in this situation?”. In fact some years ago some Christians went about wearing a wristband which had WWJD written on them. It wouldn’t hurt to ask that question “What would Jesus do/say?” before we respond to any situation that makes us feel too uncomfortable. Psychologists often advise people to pause sometimes before responding in a heated manner. Let the Peace of Jesus calm out thoughts and guide our responses when those around us are trying to lead us down the broad way that leads to destruction.
John Pugh (Rev) Wymeswold Methodist