Sunday, February 10, 2013

Do Not Pass the Palette...Do Not Collect $200

I sit at my laptop gazing out the window...not sure how to write what the "committee in my head" has been mulling over the past few days...

I did something this week I rarely do...take PTO (paid time off) in winter...not just one, but TWO days...

Simply because I knew I needed it...the battery of this cordless screwdriver was running on mere fumes (do batteries have fumes?)...  Empty, joyless, trying to run with cement shoes on.  Barren...

And yet, something told me, "Don't waste these days..."  I guess you'll be hearing more about how valuable this time has been over a series of posts.  Who wants a long read, right?

First off, "My name is Denise F. and I'm an introvert..." (a parody of an AA meeting), so how do I recharge? 

Rather than list those ways...I'll have you see some of those ways in my posts over the next few days.

I went into my studio (our third bedroom that has desks and cupboards and supplies...but no bed) not really knowing where my time would take me.

We've been studying the book of Hebrews in church...parallel to that, another congregation is as well whose podcasts I download...Beth Tikkun Messianic Fellowship (which means "place of restoration").  I thought I would listen to the introduction to Hebrews from their pastor, L. Grant Luton.

He was using an analogy of an artist, an artist's palette, and a painting as a way to introduce what Hebrews is all about.  And my mind drifted back to a song/poem I had heard a long time ago as a teenager...called The Brush...the songwriter wrote it about his life:
Life started out like a canvas,
And God started painting on me,
But I took the paintbrush from Jesus,
And painted what I wished to see.

The colours I painted kept running,
And the objects were all out of size,
I had made a mess of my painting,
My way now seemed so unwise.

Then I gave my painting to Jesus,
All the colours, all the pieces so wrong.
In the markets of earth it was worthless,
But His blood made my painting belong.

He worked with no condemnation,
Never mentioned the mess I had made.
Then He dipped His brush in the rainbow,
And signed it, the price has been paid.

When I gave the brush back to Jesus,
When I gave the brush back to Him
He started all over life?s canvas to fill,
When I gave to Jesus the brush of my will.
Words and Music by Chuck Milhuff
And here is that songwriter and the song sung by Ben Speer of the Speer Family:

Now...I love today's praise and worship music, but the eloquency in these lyrics, along with its truth, moved me to tears.  And I'm finding that the richness of the words (and the truth they hold) in the older hymns that have survived centuries have a special way of nurturing me, as no modern songs the one I featured in this post.  But I digress...

Have you ever seen a painter's palette?

It is messy, chaotic, seems to have no redeeming value, no meaning, not a place where paint wants to remain...

And yet, we are born into this world as fresh as brand new tubes of oil paint and we want to somehow go from the tube straight onto the live a beautifully perfect painting of life.

But, as Pastor Luton illustrated...we cannot take a detour past the pallet...but our journey must go through the pallet.  God wants to squeeze us out and mix light with dark...and to us it looks like random chaos.

C. S. Lewis wrote in a letter dated December 20, 1943 (when England was in the middle of The Blitz, and they had no idea of the outcome):
The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's own or real life. The truth is, of course, what one calls interruptions are precisely one's real life. The life God is sending is one day at a time. What one calls one's real life becomes a phantom of one's imagination. This is what I see in moments of insight, but it's hard to see it all the time.
I don't know totally what my phantom "real" life was dreamed to be (but some things I would have gladly left out), but the fact real life is the palette.  I've seen the chaos, the sin, the randomness, the heartache, the dark colors, the bright ones, the failures, the struggle to find meaning of it all at times, and how, when I take the paintbrush, I make things an even bigger mess...and some of the chaos is a necessary sign of the Painter's love.

So, what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you!
Mind you, don’t despise the discipline of Almighty God!
True, he wounds, but he also dresses the wound;
the same hand that hurts you, heals you.
From one disaster after another he delivers you;
no matter what the calamity, the evil can’t touch you Job 5:17-18 (The Message)

God rescues the afflicted by their affliction;
He instructs them by their torment.  Job 36:15-16 (HCSB)
But often, if I step back, I can see the hand of the Painter...other times His hand is still hidden...

But I trust the Painter...and how He can turn the mess into a masterpiece...

And the meaning of the palette is it is the history, the story behind it all...what it took for the Painter to make me His masterpiece.

And the theme of Hebrews is to persevere on the palette...the Painter knows what He is doing.

Quality time spent so far...and it might just be me...

...but I'm starting to see a little green...


  1. What a great analogy. I love the palette image, though I'm not sure why. It just speaks to me in some way.

  2. This is wonderful! You are quite the masterpiece. Thanks for sharing. Grace and peace to you.

  3. I think there is so much beauty in the mess of the palette. All life experiences blending together to form a beautiful array of color.

  4. I do hope you see the colors soon. It's so hard going through the dreary times of life. Seems like they will never end. But then! HE pulls us through.
    I had an old album by John Michael and Terry Talbot....called "The Painter"....wonderful songs! I need to pick up the CD soon. I tried to find a link to "Paint My Life" track to share here...but could only get snippets.
    Hugs to you.....Healing comes through raindrops.

  5. I believe this just qualified as my morning devotion. Think I'll print that poem out and put it in my studio. So glad you took some time for recharge. Bless you sweet friend.


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