I found myself wondering the other day why God made a colourful Universe rather than making do with black-and-white one, which would be much cheaper and more functional.
For example, making new humans out of pre-existing humans could be vastly streamlined. All you really need do is zip together together two zygotes. How hard is that? A bit of gene-splicing in a test-tube. You could dispense with massive inefficiencies: coyness, vulnerability, dating, conversations, misunderstandings, flowers, meals, presents, inflated wedding costs, awkward honeymoons and much else. Yet God seems stubbornly set in his massively inefficient ways.
He has, it seems, chosen a slow and colourful (to say the least) option for human reproduction, despite a simple fix being available given a decent lab and the political will.
Then I thought of how many criticisms of the Christian faith, and especially of us evangelicals, really boil down to aesthetics. Think of Christians in literature: sour-faced, pleasure-hating, ugly, dull, unimaginative, hard and humourless.
There are reasons. A self-indulgent pursuit of ornateness and fussiness can be a form of greed, a worship of idols. We don’t want that.
But colour can also be a sign of love and joy, even a mark of the Holy Spirit. And God is the prime culprit when it comes to littering creation with needless beauty.
Next time I tread on a leaf which has been bronzed by a season in the sun, piped with frost, blown carelessly from a heap, ridiculously lovely, satisfyingly crunchy, yet which is is basically a unit for converting photons into fructose, I ought to remember.