I took a class on painting in college. The professor told us that sometimes we will have a hard time putting brush to canvas because it is so white. There might, at times, be a strong sense of "I don't want to mess it up." Her solution was to start any project by just painting the entire canvas whatever light color we wanted. Seeing an already painted canvas would be less, um, intimidating.
This post is me painting my canvas. Several people have said they wished I had a blog. I thought, "Seriously? Who would ever want to read what I would write?"
No matter. I'll just write what seems important at the time, hoping that God shows the way.
On seeing this post my friends (and relatives) will probably think, "What? She has time to paint?"
I haven't painted anything since that class, though the large "final" painting I did in that class is hung prominently over our front door. I really enjoyed painting. I'll pick it up again in the future...when there aren't several little people thrilled at the prospect of getting their little hands full of gooey paint and personalizing our house and furniture. We do have one piece of furniture which has been artfully decorated (scribbled upon) with a Sharpie. We will keep it as is. It is one of our few pieces of "art by Gabe."
Who is Gabe? He is my fourth child. We had him for twenty seven months and loved every bit of it.
Yesterday was the second anniversary of my mother's death. I remember thinking several years ago that I would always want her around to share life with. I would briefly contemplate that the time would come when she would be very old and frail and not enjoy the kids as much. Then she called one day in late 2006 with the news of a diagnosis. Those thoughts came immediately to mind and I convinced myself that all could still be well. Less than two years later and after much surgery and treatment, she died at a relatively young age. She'll never have to get old.
I know that it is only her body that has died. I know that she is now far more alive than ever before and knows a joy we can't even fathom. That is our promise. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those that love Him.
I look around and see all that has entered into the heart of man. Mankind is brilliant, artistic, creative, and endlessly imaginative. God has made us so--in His image and likeness. We have come up with everything from Velcro to super duper crazy insane roller coasters to recliners, video cameras, Ripstiks, and sippy cups. Iron Chef shows that our culinary creativity sometimes crosses the line...fish ice cream?
Yet God promises that we still have not conceived what He has prepared for us. Oh, how I wish my mom (or son or dad or sister....) could just send me a little note telling me just a fraction of what it's like.
The darkest of our hours, the death of a loved one, is the most amazing and joyfully bright for the loved one. We are made for heaven.