Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Put on...

242. watching a child paint

a heart of compassion,




and patience.

Colossians 3:12

I confess... I am no artist, but I do love watching children create their own artwork. Give them materials, encourage imagination and creativity, and watch the magic begin.

The room was quiet, very warm that day. Twenty-one children crowded into the small area. Paint and paper spread before them. Each canvas empty. The possibilities...

Then I noticed the young boy sitting without paper and paint. He just sat with the other children...watching. That small frame with large, sad eyes. All of the other children were painting. All of them, except this one. I looked for paper and paint for him, but someone said, "Don't bother, he's too young, he'll just make a mess."

I asked the well-meaning teacher if it would be alright if sat with him on the floor. She agreed.

He needed no instruction from me, really. Just encouragement. I watched as this child sat for twenty minutes dipping the brush into the paint bottle, methodically stroking the brush onto the paper, making irregular, uneven shapes with no real form. I watched and spoke gently, cheering him on in his first paint experience. Occasionally his eyes would meet mine, searching for approval. What a thrill for me. What joy I found in that moment. Encouraging, spurring on this little one.

God spoke to me that day in that hot, cramped classroom. He longs to show His compassion to all of us. How many times have I failed to allow Him to do so through me? What could He do with my canvas if I allowed Him to take control? Am I impatient, quick to judge, limiting possibilities. Psalm 103:8 says: The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Lord, help me to put on your heart ... a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience today. Amen.

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