Recently I, along with another staff and two kiddos, took a Bob Ross painting class. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if I was good at art, but my running joke has been that I can’t draw a stick person straight. To willingly take a painting class was no small thing. All I could think was, “I better get to paint at least one ‘happy, little tree!’”
It should be noted that “happy, little trees” are much harder to paint than it looks. My first tree was not happy. It was sad. And fat. When I called the instructor over to help, his response was, “Oh my!” Needless to say, I had to work to make my trees happy and little.
Although I was the first of our group to struggle, I wasn’t the only one. We all had different things we struggled with and in which we needed help. Even though we were all looking at the same painting and had the same instructions, each of our paintings were unique and beautiful. One of the girls had the most vibrant colors. One person added her own dramatic flair, another painted something entirely different, and another painting was gentle and inviting. All beautiful in their own ways and all different.
I couldn’t help but be reminded how life is like this. We each have our own unique stories and backgrounds. Through each experience, we see something different than anyone else. And, it’s okay. We all make mistakes and have areas in which we struggle. Yet when we listen to the instructor, we learn, grow, and something beautiful begins to take shape. Just as no two paintings are the same, neither are two lives.
Each kiddo we have the privilege of meeting is a gift from God. Sometimes, we are only in their lives for a brief time, and there’s very little paint we add to their canvas. However, sometimes we add a lot to their story, and are even privileged to turn some sad trees into happy, little trees. Each stroke of the paintbrush is important. Every word, hug, and interaction matters. The canvas of our lives is telling a story. What does yours say?
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28