Phlox comes from the Greek word for flame. Typically, flames are an orange red, but I have seen blue, violet, green, red and white in my own fireplace, reflecting the varied hues of the phlox flower. The colour of a flame is determined by that which provides its fuel: copper sulphate, for example, produces a green, while potassium chloride generates a very satisfying purple. Throwing chemicals onto fires is not an activity generally recommended, and is best left to school Heads of Chemistry seeking to entertain their charges after a turgid topic on unreactive metals. Yet the multicoloured flames, and the pretty flowers which mimic them, bespeak the fantastic complexity and beauty of the natural world. God did not have to create colour, but He did. Our experience of heaven is likely to witness additional proofs of our God’s creative genius, which cannot currently be seen or heard.

The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was like the colour of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads… Ezekiel 1:22