Stop and remember. Remember the days before these days, remember the days when everything around us was graveyard and gray. Remember the days of talking big and fearing bigger – of staking claims on land that crumbled like dust. We thought we knew it all then, thought if we just tried a little harder and walked a little taller and acted a little smarter, we would certainly make it.
But we were trapped in graveyard and gray. Then, with paintbrush laden, we were washed with color. Crimson gave way to gleaming. The grass grew soft under our feet and the gnarled trees bloomed. Graveyard became garden – new mercies and grace springing up all around us. Extravagant love did that for us – even as we stumbled breathless in the gray – God’s perfect pouring out love painted “new” on our hearts and souls. He made us living masterpieces in Christ, perfect pictures of His affection. He painted color we could never have mixed. He designed the life we could have never created. He drew the lines and painted every highlight and shadow – He selected the palette and chose the brushstrokes to make us beautiful, to make us purposeful. And He hand-signed His work.
We are autographed by God. And we are made to reflect His artistry.
What a precious thought – that He would see beyond our dusty gray stumbling and say we are worthy of a museum, that He would look at us and say “prized.” The paints God used on us – listen to their names! There is “hope-full” and “no longer alone.” There is “peace” and there is “no more hatred.” There is “reconcile” and there is “welcome here.” And the brush carries its own name – Jesus. He makes us magnificent, He makes us His own. We are autographed by God. And He displays us so all can see our beautiful colors and read the names – and feel the brushstrokes on graveyard and gray.
What an artist You are, God. You take crumbling ruins and broken tombstones and create castles and galleries. You make bold brushstrokes of mercy and paint the finest of detail in love and hope and forgiveness. You paint in hues that become brighter with the days, revealing ever-new shades. There is no flaw in Your work, no cracks over time. Every design reveals time and timelessness. Every design reveals Your personality. Every design has Your signature. Today, would You let me catch a glimpse of the colors You have painted? Would You help my eyes to see the beauty of every single design, to find value in each person who has been autographed by You? Father, I want to stand in awe of what You have done when I see people who have been washed in color by Christ’s redeeming love. And I want to carry the color into the graveyard and gray, joyfully showing the words “welcome here” and “hope-full” and “no longer alone.”