Miss M, in her new awareness of “pretty” started combing her hair until it straightened. It saddened me to watch the curls unravel, but even more so, to see at an early age such a desire to be other than her created self. Perhaps I contributed to the problem – I both started straightening my hair via blow dryer this summer with a new style and I told her I loved her curls. In any case, she’s not convinced the curls should stay.
I told her – and all of them – that God had created them as individuals. We talked about how before they were in their mama’s belly, God got out a piece of paper and some crayons and began to make a Miss M. And an H Boy, a Lady C and a Mr. M. I told her how God does amazing work and doesn’t make mistakes, all of his creations are beautiful because they have a little piece of God in them. His fingerprints are on his paintings, on us.
There are no kids across the street anymore. Mom is still there, smoking on the front porch. The male figure(s) arrive and leave, yesterday with loud shouting and some physical restraint. I can’t imagine that when God pulled out his fresh piece of clean white paper, this is what He drew. I don’t believe this woman grew up aspiring to the children’s services rotation. She never dreamed of relationships that would drown her. She doesn’t want this. Either does God.
Straightening our hair or poisoning our minds with artificial and temporary fulfillment – we all have our way of picking up a black crayon and telling God, “nice try.” As co-creators, commissioned to continue what He began in his first 6 days, we spend time with the paper. The question isn’t if we draw, it’s what we draw.
We have opportunity to sit with the master, to learn how to take long, careful strokes. He can tell us how to blend the most extraordinary colors, to accent with shadows and make a piece come alive and jump off the paper. We can sit, listen, absorb, practice, be corrected, seek feedback and take risks under the supervision of the Master.
Or we can take a black crayon and declare the entire work trash.
Either way, I’m in firm belief that God never stops drawing. If we’re breathing, he’s adding color. You cannot scribble which he cannot work into something of overall beauty.
At any time, we can join him. We can begin to choose complementary colors. They might be elementary. Perhaps we start with stick figures and sunshines. It doesn’t matter. A heart that looks to learn and create something of beauty, rather than living in anger with the paper, is a heart that is in tune with God. And God can make beautiful things (as Gungor lyrically puts it) out of dust and out of us.
Choose your crayon.