“I’d like a painting for my office,” he requests. “Will you try?”
“I don’t want to.” My daughter’s voice floats into the kitchen.
“I will.” The words spill from my mouth. I’m not a painter, but I’d like to try something new.
I gather the materials–canvas, paints, brushes. It’s getting expensive.
When the house is quiet, I lay my three canvas pieces on the table. Paving the way, my hand begins sketching.
Finally, my brush strokes the canvas … little by little. And I love every glorious minute of it.
When I finish working each afternoon, I keep the sections hidden away through the rest of the day, until it’s ready. A birthday present.
I venture outside over the following days. The beautiful weather warms my heart. The breeze–such a gift.
My unsteady hand wobbles, and the paintbrush shifts over of the sketched line. As I’m sitting there, in the daylight, all I see is the mess I’ve made. The outside border of my attempted subject is too wide, messy. And in the process of tucking them away, I’ve hit one canvas against another, and paint smears.
Why? I’m not …
I won’t give up. I haven’t come this far to give up. When the paint is dry, I decide to try … Focusing on steady, I take my foundation white and patch over the messy umber.
With the tip of the paintbrush between my lips, I evaluate the project. It’s not so bad. Perfectly imperfect has to be okay. Because, well … it’s me.
My heart is nudged. I remember the beautiful canvas we are all given at the onset of life. And look … the smear, the mess I made. But you, O Lord, you painted me new. The crimson ran down to white, to pure. Free, yet so expensive a cost. You took your foundation and made me … changed me, covered me. My spiritual birthday–the gift that never stops giving, never stops covering.
But the destroyer creeps in, going into hidden places where he doesn’t belong, and pulls me out. He works with ease to scrape away the new, revealing my old, reminding me of my old … the times I stroked my brush out of line … the embarrassment of the ugly, the smears, the beyond ugly …
Not to help, but to hurt. And he so hurts.
And I wonder why I allow it. Why do I get pulled out? Time after time. O Soul Within, why …?
Father, help me “take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1), where I’m loved every glorious minute. Give me the “I will” …. For you only. My eyes focused intently on you. Unashamed. Because that’s where I’m ready. That’s where I’m perfectly imperfect.
Until that day, when all is revealed.
O Soul Within, don’t be afraid to try something new.
“Holy Spirit, blow peace, joy, and love in and through us today.”—Wendy Macdonald
Have you ventured out to try something new?
*And I thought you might like to know that the painting is hanging on a wall in downtown Dallas right now. No matter how imperfect it is. Yikes!