A few weeks ago I told you about how much I’ve been enjoying my “grown up” coloring books as a way to meditate on the words of God - - despite not having any artistic ability whatsoever!
So recently when my friend, an artist, came to visit, I asked her to teach me about how to do shading with my new colored pencils.
She chose a page from my simple art book, and then I sat beside her as she colored and explained that the first important step is to decide which direction the light is coming from. And that’s what determines the highlighted areas and the shadowed areas.
She colored and I watched. I began to feel, as we sat side by side, that God had something deeper about shading to teach me.
As the minutes clicked by, I was amazed at her patience - - carefully adding layer upon layer to intensify the shaded areas of a flower, often referencing the direction of the light. What began as an overall soft peach color, grew deeper and more dramatic with the addition of orange and then red.
And what patience! It was the layer upon layer of her colors that intrigued me and her lack of concern about the time it was taking.
Later as I looked at the flower and the leaf alongside it – also colored with the light in mind – that I began to think about God’s patience.
And I realized this is how God is designing you and me. Patiently layering the colors - - His light in one place creating beautiful shadows and depths in another. Like the way the light of His presence can stun and comfort us in the midst of grief and trials. “Beauty from ashes,” the Bible calls it.
As I sit quietly looking at the flower and thumbing through my Bible for more insight, God merges two truths for me I hadn’t noticed before.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness.”
Because of God’s compassion, patience and love, His hand in our lives can be trusted. Yes, trusted in every situation.
“And we know that all things work together for good
to those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”
God is patiently coloring light and shadow adding beauty and depth into our lives. May He grant us grace to be patient - - with ourselves and with others.
Pull Up a Chair: Sitting Still
Maybe, like me, you might want to reflect on the layers of color the Lord is adding in your life - - and those near you - - and your willingness to wait patiently as He completes the design.
"Our patience is demonstrated most clearly when we settle ourselves
and focus on what we can do while we wait."
- Crystal McDowell