Posted by: pendrops | September 5, 2006



I just finished The Color Purple yesterday and, while I’m still sifting through all the complex bits and pieces of the book, I am awestruck by the hope and redemption in the stories of Celie and Nettie. My worldview clashes with much of the explicit depictions, ideas and beliefs Walker propagates, but I cannot help but be enchanted and challenged by one of the quotes from the novel.

In one letter where Celie explains her struggle with prayer, God, and unbelief, it is her lover, Shug, who makes a reverberating statement.

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

I stopped when I read that, and not just because I was so excited about getting to that part of the book where the title is mentioned. (Am I the only one who loves that?) I stopped to think about the truth filling in the cracks and crevasses of that statement.

First, I remembered the passage in Romans that says, “From Him, through Him and to Him are all things. To God be the glory forever.” And the passage in John about nothing existing apart from Christ, the Word made flesh.

And I lingered on the scope of what that means, that God made everything. All sorts of things. Purple things that I love; like violets, plums, wine, horizons, lavender fields. Not to mention a million other colors.

After several minutes with the book turned upside down in my lap, I finally landed on this: that we can look at God’s creations and enjoy them in and of themselves. But when we do that, they are never enough. There’s always something missing. Almost like they are lifeless.

But they are only lifeless when we fail to acknowledge their life source, our life source. When we receive all these things around us as gifts from the hand of God, and praise and glorify Him as their Maker, a sweet song echoes in our ear, a rich food fills us up, a fragrant rose stays with us.

Because, if we will notice it, God’s glory is more filling, more lovely and more satisfying than any one part of his creation, even the color purple.



  1. Hey Krista, had fun catching up with you through your blog this morning. Congrats on the Relevant article! And, no, you’re not the only one who gets a small thrill when you find the title of the book somewhere in the middle. I read a lite mystery/thriller this week (the writing is pretty weak, especially the dialogue, but it’s part of a series & I’m too invested in the characters – a fun romp although not great literature – Ha!), and when I got to the title in the text, I had one of those satisfying moments. Glad to know I’m part of a sisterhood of title seekers. Much love to you!

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