Wearing green?

It would be easy to write about heroic health care workers, toilet paper wars, social distancing etc.. but sometimes our brains need a different type of news too. So happy St. Patrick’s day! (Tomorrow…. today was my day to write.)

Green is not a colour I wear very often (I have an olive/yellow skin tone) but once a year I pull it out and try quite pitifully some Irish brogue. It would seem that nature approves of the holiday as little green leaves and buds begin to emerge and unfurl in the sun.

In this humorous account of the day by Patrick Allan, I learned that blue actually used to be the colour worn. Other interesting facts include the reason for a specifically March 17 celebration, the many names that Patrick had, his powerful influence on a nation and an interesting tidbit about Chicago dying a body of water green… now that is extravagant celebration!

It is fascinating how history, religion, nationalism and legend all influence our holidays. I don’t think there is any holiday practiced in Canada that has just one story or method of celebration for everyone.

As a Christian, I rejoice in the many lives that Patrick reached with the gospel. I also use this day to pray for Ireland and hope that one day I may see it’s amazing green pastures.

I think about my neighbourhood friend Erin and her parents who immigrated to Canada during the “troubles”. They worked so hard to create a new life for their kids. Acknowledging the danger in their country while still treasuring their heritage. I not only admired their accents but also their courage and work ethic and care for me. Rather than the beer flowing I think of the love flowing from these precious people.

I have to get back to my daughter soon so let me close with a famous prayer traditionally called “St Patrick’s Shield”. You can find the whole prayer here. Following are the last two stanzas. Blessings on your day!

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

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