By now, you’ve likely seen the infamous white and gold picture of the blue and black dress and read some of the discussions.
On the one hand, it’s nothing unusual. We’ve all seen pictures that were either over-exposed or under-exposed to take on colors that don’t match the original. And it is certainly not newsworthy to realize that we don’t all see things exactly the same. A sports coat that looks navy blue to me is likely to look royal blue to my wife…or a pair of socks that looks black in the bedroom is navy blue in full sunlight.
What makes this picture so unique is the drastic contrast. Two people look at the exact same picture in the exact same lighting, and one sees a blue dress with black trim while the other sees a white dress with gold trim. Yes, there are others who see something in between…such as a light blue dress with olive trim. Those in-betweens are understandable by all…and expected. We’ve learned to accept some minor variance of perception. The startling reality is in realizing that color perception can vary so greatly as the difference between white and dark blue…or between gold and black. That’s a major difference in perception!
Just as startling is the realization that nothing changes the personal color perception. We have all been informed that the actual dress is dark blue with black trim. I have no problem accepting this as fact…but it does absolutely nothing to change the equally factual truth that the picture I see is white with gold trim. And no amount of anyone telling me the color of the real dress does anything to change what I see when I look at the picture.
This is the challenge we continually face as a bloggers. Our goal, in every blog post, is to share a snippet of our perception with others…to enable the reader to catch a glimpse of life as we see it.
Many times, a reader is able to readily identify with a post, which is very rewarding. It’s good to know others share perceptions similar to ours and to know we were able to verbally capture an emotion or experience.
Other times, a reader will have their perception of a topic altered by what we shared. These moments are extraordinarily rewarding…to know God used our words to change someone else’s perception.
Most often, though, readers having a perception different from mine leave my post with their perception unchanged. They see blue and black where I see white and gold, and nothing has changed that for either of us.
In the case of the dress picture, it doesn’t really matter. It’s an interesting realization, but the fact that we see the colors in the picture differently doesn’t impact how any of us live our lives or how we interact with others.
In regard to some of the topics discussed on this blog, it matters greatly. I am often discussing biblical truth rather than color perception. And the topics I discuss are the sort that can make the difference between a person continuing to live in bondage or escape to liberty…the difference between seeing oneself as an object of God’s love or an object of His wrath…the difference between treating a fellow believer with compassion and mercy or treating them with rigid legalistic indifference.
I frequently intentionally write about topics on which I am well aware my perception is substantially different from that of many popular learned scholars. And my goal is not to simply throw out an opinion, but to alter a reader’s perception…to help them see that the picture they’ve always viewed as one color is actually a different color…that the scripture passage they’ve always seen as saying one thing actually says something quite different.
And to top it all off, I write with the constant awareness that my perception is also flawed and incomplete…that I often have as much to learn from readers as they from me.
It’s a monumental task…an impossible task…a God-sized task. It is a task that can only be accomplished through the power of The Holy Spirit.
It sure is fun to see Him at work!