In grade school, I worked very hard at coloring inside the lines. I wanted the acceptance and approval of my peers and teachers. When I had my own girls. . .I searched long and wide for the “best crayon” to encourage their creativity. I finally found a tin box (so cute) of square crayons that fit perfectly in their little hands. I gave them big, white paper and watched, with great delight, them scribble and scratch their way to budding artistry 🙂 (Young moms: square crayons do not break: thus, no tears!) When I did not recognize their lovely color collage, I would say, “I love the colors you chose, tell me about your picture.” I knew what was best for them. I did not know what was best for me.
I’ve spent 50 “something” years trying to keep my love inside the lines as I’ve colored my way through marriage, mothering and friendship offerings. I wanted it to be recognized as a crown, princess, or castle. (Okay, so I had high aspirations! LOL) I wanted approval and acceptance (yes still!). Heart scribbles do not come out looking like a coloring book image. They are messy, but full of color.
I think we all expect each other to keep our love offerings inside the lines, so everything is nice and neat. And not just any lines, but OUR lines. What would God’s Kingdom of love look like, if we colored outside the lines freely? Instead of rejecting or ignoring what we do not recognize as a form of love, What if we said simple things like, “Tell me about this. . .” (I had a friend say those lovely words once when I gave her a gift I brought back from a trip!).
One of the “redemptive gifts” of this disease is the reminder that life is short. Life is too short to color inside the lines with our love. I’m tired of trying to stay inside of the lines. It is boring and it feels stifling. I don’t think it is what God is looking for in love as we attempt to reflect HIS hand.
So, let’s pick up a crayon. Chose a new/old (retired) color such as thistle, raw umber, violet blue (they are probably worth something, we should have kept those old crayons!) and color outside the lines with our love. Scribbles and mistakes are welcome, just make some heart creations with the people God has put in your life. I suspect when we get to heaven, those colors that moved outside the lines, will have places of honor and glory on a canvas with your name on it. We will just have to wait and see. . .
If I offer you a messy picture of my love, I expect you to receive it like a Monet Watercolor Masterpiece! (I’m only kidding!!!!!!!) But maybe you will let me tell you something about my effort to put my heart on paper for you 🙂 We serve a creative God. I read in a book once, we are only “messy glory.” I liked it and have quoted it since! Messy Glory, that is you and me 🙂 Kingdom Play is always in color! Never in black and white!