Sit down, child. Let’s get crayons and paper, and let’s paint a story.
Let’s draw threads that weave their way through the life we live.
Let’s paint a picture of us.
Let’s paint a picture of a house, strong and solid. Wisdom has built it, and wisdom protects it.
Let’s add people, walking tall and full of grace. They speak kindness, they speak truth, they speak life.
Do you see the green grass, the majestic peaks, the crystal blue sky? And the trees bending with fruit. Beautiful fruit.
Paint a porch swing, where love gathers and pours. Broken hearts are welcomed, and grieving souls are embraced. Wisdom pours out like refreshment, understanding is shared like comfort food. And the fruit is heaped on a platter, ready for all.
He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. (Galatians 5)
Above the door paint the words “ever faithful, ever true.” Do you see them now? Color every room peace. Color every room joy. Place a fountain in a courtyard for all to see, for all to hear. Oh, let the sound be glory. Let the water keep flowing for all thirsty. Paint paths of generosity, and paint welcome on waving hands.
Watch the colors run past the edges, shifting grey to vivid hue. Paint the neighborhood growing, overflowing its banks like a flood. Write “taste and see” on parchment and tie it in mercy. Hang the lanterns and set the table, and hand-deliver the invitations to the ones who least expect it.
Paint the poor.
Paint the outcast.
Paint the tyrant.
Paint the oppressed.
Paint the oppressor.
Paint the blind. And the blinded.
Paint them all at the gate, with path and porch before them. Paint All-Mighty sitting on front steps with beckoning voice.
Sit down, child. Let’s get crayons and paper, and let’s paint a love story.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. (1 Corinthians 13)
Loving God of all color, would you teach me how to hold the crayons in my feeble hands, would you show me the boundaryless edges where Your love should be painted, the bold hues You want mixed on the palette? Will you build this house – Your house – with wisdom, and will you let the path from my heart be always ready to receive? The fruit of Your spirit – please let my arms grow strong from carrying full platters to share. The love of this story, please may I stay overwhelmed by it? Please let me not lay claim to any piece of it or try to write my own story in it, but let Your love be theme and thesis and tint. Father, make me unashamed to hold out your invitation to every ONE. Ever faithful, ever true. Always All-Mighty.