Yesterday I was asked to paint Joy. What Joy is to me, whatever that may be. The only condition being that when I paint it, I paint it in joy, feeling joy, expressing joy.
The first thought/impression/image that popped into mind was colors of blue and yellow, blue sky, sunshine, leafy trees, bright flowers.
A few hours later I had the desire to watch Shrek. I always love watching any of the Shreks, they make me happy, I love the sunlight in them. And as we watched there was my blue sky, trees in dappled sunlight, thick summery green grass, yellow flowers, sunflowers, forest paths, many things I love.
And I love lazy days with my family. All 3 of us on the couch with our own blankets and pillows. And I realized that my favorite parts of all of these fairytales is often the unhurried journey through the beautiful forest. Aurora dancing around singing with the animals. Shrek and Donkey and the Princess talking and walking the trail, Flynn and Rapunzel amongst the big beautiful trees, Snow White looking for somewhere safe.
So as we're watching a beautiful scene I'm being mindful, giving thanks for everything good in that moment, and the late afternoon sun peeks out from behind the clouds, throwing sunlight and shadows across the dining room wall. I look out the window, and outside all of the trees are standing there being splashed by the same light, face to the sun, arms out, receiving its warmth, glowing, happy and hopeful. That's how I see them. : )
Everything in that moment was Joy for me.
A moment later, the scene ended, and the sun disappeared. Such a stark contrast, that absence of warm sunlight!! Flat and without radiance, magic, beauty, hope.
But it made me smile.
It's all a metaphor to me of what God does in our lives. Has done in my life. The hope and beauty he provides, the light he splashes into the darkest of days. I know what it feels like to be those trees with no sun. Leafless and grey, dry sticks with sharp edges.
But oh how I know how it feels to be them glowing and covered with light! And I'm so thankful he doesn't leave and duck behind the clouds. He promises to always draw near to us when we draw near to him. So thankful for His beautiful creation that stirs my soul so greatly, fills my heart to bursting. Gifts of golden sunlight on towering trees, nearly every single day!
And I'm thankful for the unique gift He has given me, the work of my hands, that enables me to have an outlet and express these feelings that are so full. Feelings that expand in my chest and feel like they need to come out in some concrete way. He gives me the ability to do just that! The satisfaction to be able to turn these feelings into something real and tangible. Like magic : )
I think God does this for all of us too, I think inside each of us there is something planted there, some passion, gift, talent, unique to each of us. I know mine was buried for years and years!!!!! There's mining to do to uncover it. I didn't find this treasure until I spent much time seeking God, looking to find if Jesus was who he said he was. Seeking him for help getting out from under all of the dark and heavy things that were pressing me down and holding me back, making me afraid. Then learning to seek him just for Him and his presence. And that is where I was when I started to discover and be equipped and encouraged to follow these desires to create and express myself. He gives us the desires of our hearts. Which I have learned doesn't mean he gives us whatever we desire, but he will plant desires in our hearts that are good, and help us fulfill them. <3
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. - Matthew 6:33