When I see a blank canvas, I see possibility. Any picture that someone could think of can be painted on a clean white space. A beautiful sunrise, a breath-taking mountain view, or an ocean front sandy beach. The possibilities are endless.
I believe that we are types of canvases— human canvases if you will.
The pictures painted on us are usually dictated by our experiences. If we have good things going on in our lives, we may have colors of sunshine yellow, radiant blue, glittery green… you get the idea. If we have had bad, even horrible things happen, our canvas will have colors of black, gloomy gray, lifeless brown… again, you get it. We don’t always get to choose what scene goes on our canvas, but we can choose to change the colors that are being used to paint with.
The colors on my canvas have changed over the years. Growing up with blindness has put those dismal colors of black, gray, and brown on the pristine white backdrop. Feeling that I would never have a “normal” life. (See my post titled It’s ok to be you) It made me feel that my colors would always be just varying hues of those gloomy shades. Feeling like no one would be able to bring vibrant colors into my life because after all, who wants a girlfriend who is “broken”? But then someone did come into my life! Oh, how I loved the joy he brought to my empty life. He began painting on my canvas with colors of red, pink and purple. You know, all of the “love” colors. But as our relationship progressed, those colors turned to black and blue. He broke my bones in my left ear and he broke my heart. He took my confidence and simply dumped and splashed colors of darkness onto my canvas. I wanted so desperately to wash away those colors. But it was a bit like trying to wash off dried paint from the wall. I couldn’t just wipe it away. It needed to be painted over.
As I had changes in my vision that left me feeling like it would never stabilize, there was the colors of bright yellow mixed with gloomy gray. I wasn’t sure how my painting was going to look with all the competing hues. I began to put a coating over my canvas that the colors couldn’t penetrate. I could simply remove the protective coating, throw it away, and put on a new one. But that left me with no real connection to anyone or anything. Just surface relationships, conversations, and a topical spiritual life. I didn’t really have a spiritual life until my twenties but it had no depth to it even when I did accept God into my life.
The bullies throughout my school years, the people who looked at me with pity as an adult, and even friends who treat me with just a little too much mothering, have all painted on my canvas. My wonderful God-fearing supportive husband and my two loving awesome kids have also painted on my canvas. But when I finally let God paint on my canvas, I found that I could remove that protective coating and let Him paint on the porous surface of the white canvas and let the colors seep into me. The colors are so much more vibrant and bold. God’s colors are not like any other colors that we see. My vision prevents me from identifying colors correctly, but let me tell ya… I see His colors. I know when I’ve let God paint on my canvas or when I’ve let people do the painting. The cool thing is, no matter what colors I’ve had painted by bad or hurtful experiences, God is right there with His paint pallet, ready to paint over the mistakes.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time, also He has put eternity into man’s heart yet that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” God has a perfect plan for each of us and a perfect time to carry out that plan. Each plan has a color and when they are all put on our canvas in the right place at the right time… WOW! What a masterpiece. Oh friends, let God paint on the canvas of your life. It will be a priceless work of art!