We went on a tour of the school where we served in Israel. Near the end of the tour, we walked down a basement hallway with a mural that was barely started. Most the length of the wall was filled with black lines, marking our paint areas. Later, we met the artist…and he was a bonafide artist. We thought he was simply a man who was capable of drawing good murals for kids. The last day we served, we found out he was a professional artist. We visited a website of his creations and were in awe…
…especially when we realized he trusted us enough to paint his creations.
Sure, we were basically doing paint-by-numbers without the numbers. When we finished one job, he would grab a cup from his cart, pour in some base paint, then add a little of this color and a little of that to create just the shade he wanted. He’d point and say, “Here. Here. And here.” in his thick Russian accent to instruct us exactly where to paint, then walk away to help someone else. Every now and then, we’d catch him looking over our shoulders. We’d ask, “Okay?” He’d nod and smile and say, “Yes. Yes. Okay. Okay.” I wondered if he really meant it at times. He seemed to chuckle a little as he reassured us. But his affirmation encouraged us to continue to do our best. We were creating murals for the children and school staff, but we wanted to please the artist, too. It was his vision, and we wanted to bring it to life.
Being trusted by an expert is flattering, but it also comes with responsibility.
It reminds me of my relationship with God. I am flabbergasted by His love, mercy, and generosity. I find the responsibility of faith daunting and honoring. I get to participate in God’s plan. He creates the guidelines. He mixes the colors and gives me instructions, then He lets me respond. He’s never too far away. Sometimes I feel His closeness; sometimes I don’t, but I know He is always invested in my life. He created it. He corrects and encourages me. I may fill in just a little space of color, but there are people all around me who are adding their color. I may not be able to conceptualize the big picture, but I’m glad God can.
And I’m glad He invites me to be a part of His world, His creation, His plan.