November 23 - Seeing Red, Blue, White or Purple

We convinced the government that we were doing a science project...


Because they attended high school in Washington, D.C., the boys of Gonzaga College High School had a unique platform for their 1969 prank. They tricked the Department of the Interior into allowing them to turn the Washington Monument purple and white, their school's colors, just before the annual football game against their rivals, St. John's College High School.

Mark Smith recalls, "We convinced the government that we were doing a science project to test the effects of casting light through a semipermeable membrane on a white oblique object," who led the caper. A forged letter on the headmaster's stationery could have been the tipping point that sealed the deal.

On the night of November 11, the boys brought yards of purple celluloid in wooden frames to many of the monument's gigantic spotlights. Park police kept visitors away and at 7:05 PM, the boys set them over the spotlights. Two sides of the monument turned purple...and stayed that way for 35 minutes! As city residents gaped at the transformation, Smith and his friends celebrated. "We thought, This is the greatest moment of our short lives," he remembers. Press coverage included dramatic photos.

What great fun! Here goes...what is it in your life that distorts the true light of God? What kind of a color screen is changing the light of your life? Is there something that prevents you from seeing the truth? Or...consider that Jesus said we are to be the light of the world. SO...WHAT KIND OF LIGHT ARE YOU GIVING OFF? Is it tinted or does it give the true light, the real light...the white hot light of God's love? Think about it!

"Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:15-16).