Friday, June 4, 2010

Outside The Box

I loved to color when I was a little girl. Give me a new coloring book and a pack of colors and I was one happy girl. I could color for hours. That love overflowed to my children. Teaching them to color was such a blessing. Each little stroke meant so much. They were not only coloring, but creating. It was through that creating that their own talents began to shine through.
Those little, stubby fingers holding onto the fat crayons is a sight for any mother. With Jake, his tongue was usually sticking out when he was deep in thought. As he would color trucks and animals, the girls would color princess' and castles. Inside those coloring books are dreams, wishes, and ideas of all possibilities. Just one piece of paper, and a few colors can take a child to another place and time.

You know, I still love to color today. I am glad to sit down with little ones and see their imaginations go far. As they go to color a house, it's not just any house, but their house. If they color a horse, it has a name, and they are going to be riding it that afternoon through the forest.

They say giving colors and paper to even the elderly with dementia, to children who have been abused and others with all sorts of trauma can bring light to the darkness and fill a void missing in the story. It can bring back memories of past and even give hope to a future.

When you pick up that crayon you are taught to color inside the lines. You are taught to make it pretty. You are taught to trace the outside and then fill in the inside. Who thought of the rules for coloring? I have a whole drawer full of coloring pages when my children were small that I take out once in a while just to remember the sweetness of the days where simple was easy. Most of those pages are not inside the lines, but all across the page. For me, I think it is more important to color outside the lines. Why stay inside a box? Why make that circle so small? I say move out of the box, and make that circle much bigger. I say coloring outside the lines gives hope. I think it says we don't just have to be one way, as each page brings it's own beauty and style.

No one is perfect. There is no one page better than another. I say the more different the better. I say the more it stands out, the more unique it is. And when we have a color in our hands we are all Micheal Angelo. With just a color you can dream as big as you want. Everything is possible.

On the canvas before you, on that page that is needing a dash of color, who is holding the crayon? Is someone else drawing outside the lines for you or does the Lord contain your box of colors? With our eyes there are many colors in that box of twenty-four, but through the Lord's vision, there are many more we have yet to see. With each little stroke a new vision comes to view. With each added color we see more brightness on the horizon. As the Lord sets those pages before us, He wants us to explore all the box contains and more. He doesn't just want us to stop at the twenty-four, but allow Him to add more color, texture, and dimension to our lives.

Placing a crayon in a child's hand is teaching them all is possible before them. Giving them those colors is teaching the world is their canvas and they can color anything they dream. And if those dreams are big enough, just think of the possibilities. When was the last time you picked up a crayon? When was the last time you looked at the canvas and instead of seeing a blank, empty page, you saw great possibilities before you? God can do wonders with just a plain piece of paper. The possibilities are right in front of us. We just have to look outside the box!

Philippians 4:13 "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

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