Approximately 2 minutes after Reagan got on the bus Tuesday morning, Maddie turned to me and asked me if she could paint. My first answer was "No". Let's just be real: I didn't want the hassle. I suggested she play legos or my little pony. Both were met with a shaking head.
She listed off a few other things she could do which were all worse than painting so I finally caved and said, "Fine." We got to work setting it all up. Reagan is much more structured and organized than Maddie. If I sat Reagan down with papers and paints she would ask me for ideas of what to paint and then want to talk about how she might go about painting a certain thing. Maddie picks up a brush, swirls it through the cup of water, blops it into the color on her paint set and lets the brush do its thing on the surface of the paper. All that is to say, I don't really have to do much supervising with her, but probably a lot more cleaning up.
After several minutes, and five pieces of paper later, she declared she was finished. I came over to survey her work, and I was amazed.
It was a rainy, dreary, cold, wet day on Tuesday. Not even the fabulous fall colors looked so fabulous without the sun setting them ablaze. The scene out the window was pretty drab.
But this girl, the one who hadn't combed her hair, the one in the princess dress, she painted. And suddenly the room is full of beauty and color.
The question isn't always do you choose to see joy. Sometimes the question is do you choose to create joy. The real truth is, we've all got a virtual paintbrush in our hands. And we have this dangerous freedom to paint the world in strokes of grace or love or joy or despair or hate or judgment.
We aren't merely called to be spectators of the wonder. We are called to participate in it. God doesn't want you to merely sit on the side of the hall and watch the beautiful dancers whirling past you. He invites you into the dance. Even if your hair isn't combed and your wearing a well-worn princess dress.