I did a home painting project last week & let’s just say there won’t be a professional painting career in my near future. My husband checked it out & immediately saw some obvious mistakes. Of course I wanted more affirmation than his constructive observations but that’s for a different blog ,)
The challenge with painting is to “cut” the edges & have sharp, clean lines along the corners, ceiling, baseboards, etc. It’s amateur hour when the lines are crooked or the baseboards are speckled.
Sometimes I think we try to “cut” God into our lives with bright lines, rigid corners, clean baseboards & distinct compartments. If God were looking through the lens of life at my recent painting adventure, maybe God would applaud the bleed, messy corners & paint splatters. Perhaps God wants to bleed into more of or lives & get messy with us as we do our daily living. Don’t cut God out of any place in your life 🙂
There’s been some interesting news lately about Pablo Picasso & one of his famous paintings, Blue Room. In this painting, Picasso painted a woman, but art experts have found another painting behind the surface painting. The image behind the woman is a portrait of a bearded man & experts are trying to figure out who the man was, along with many other mysterious & important details. It appears that Picasso used his canvass for more than one painting (not an uncommon practice with artists).
Perhaps this is also true with the greatest Artist of all, our Creator. Perhaps God has not only made the external masterpiece that we can all see on the outside of each other & maybe there’s also an internal masterpiece inside of us that God has also created. Let’s be careful that we don’t get stuck in looking at the outside of people, but let’s allow God to show us the masterpiece inside someone & not merely the external painting 🙂
I’m presently in the middle of another painting project & we’ve just finished the first coat of paint. My kids are helping me with these projects & we are eager to have our painting adventure over. Of course we’re excited to see the outcome & to see if it will look as cool as we hope. But there’s a bit of a hitch on our anticipation. I’ve noticed that because we’d like to be finished with the Summer’s painting adventure, we are kind of rushing our efforts. So far, my take away is that painting & rushing shouldn’t be used in any combination – carpet problems, baseboard problems, angst, relational stress, etc.
As I was carefully trying to edge the ceiling, I felt like God was showing me that often times the best results require patience, being steady & attentive. I want these words, patient, steady & attentive, to be an accurate description of my walk with God. Indeed, those of us who endeavor to follow Jesus must let these words shape our decisions, values & desires in our lives. As Nietzche says, “, . . . a long slow obedience in the same direction.” 🙂
Well, I’m in the middle of painting 2 of our kids rooms & we’re having some fun learning how this whole project is supposed to work. There are some interesting parallels between painting & God:
*progress requires patience & boy am I grateful that God & others are patient a me as I grow, spill, have failures & learn
*slow work tends to avoid fast & messy mistakes – ceilings, corners, edges all require more precision & care
*its ok to get messy – still trying to get paint off of my hands, arms, legs, hair & the kids. Thankfully God cleans me up better than my best efforts
*you can paint over mistakes – paint has great redeeming qualities with mistakes, but nothing is more efficacious than Jesus’ blood
*keep trying – we’ve got another room to do & I know that I’ll learn even more about this process & I’ll continue to get better 🙂
*painting will not be my fall back career, unless I plan to go on a long-term fasting schedule ,)