A new box of crayons—the smell, the colors—pure joy.  Each one perfectly wrapped and marked with glorious names like forest green, aquamarine and azure blue.  With coloring books spread out in front of me, I sigh.  Yes, a perfect sigh of contentment and bliss.  It doesn’t get any better than this, UNTIL …

Out of the corner of my eye, I see her.  Sister number 1.  The perfect one who can do no wrong.  I can’t help myself; I have to look.  Her picture doesn’t look like mine.  I avert my eyes but like a bad train wreck, I can’t help but take a look back.  I sigh.  Not the earlier sigh of contentment and bliss … for my 5-year old ego was deflating fast.

Her coloring page—magnificent beyond compare.  Every color selected with care, complementary hues harmonizing throughout. But here’s the thing that really stood out:  She outlined every color with a solid black line in a way that made her picture look, well … like beautiful stained glass.  Sigh.  (Do I hear the angels sing?)

So, what can I do but try it, too?  I dig deep for the lonely black crayon (unused and still perfectly sharpened) and carefully, I trace a solid black line around every color on the page.  After way too long, I sit back on my knees to admire my “stained glass”. And, sigh. No contentment–no bliss; and definitely no angels to be heard.

******

Give me flexible boundaries—no hard, black-lines for me, please.  Joy, freedom and creativity flow best when I’m free from the opinions of men.  It’s not easy—especially as a person of faith (everyone has an opinion when it comes to religion).  But I choose not to hide behind a stained-glass life when it comes to living my faith.   

“Come now, and let us reason together”, says the LORD to me (as good and as bad as the next).  And we talk together outside of man’s stained-glass (so easily shattered by stones).  You see, it’s easy to manage sinful behavior safely hidden behind religion’s confines.  But what if instead we learn to manage our freedom outside of those safe black lines?

Love & Peace,

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

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