a canvas on which He can paint

I walk through the park, the first real evidence of autumn crunching softly beneath my feet. I am here to meet with a client, to capture her beauty in this beauty, but she is blessedly late and so I have time to walk. To meditate.

This is my season. My favorite.  With crisp air and bright blue skies I begin to watch anxiously for the majestic works of art our Creator puts on display. Splashes of red and orange and yellow infiltrating the green of summer. 

Camera in hand I walk and muse. Peering through the lens His art becomes my art. Everywhere I walk I find the sun piercing the canopy, a fire igniting color, changing from green to orange. I praise Him for His beauty, the intricacies with which He has painted the landscape. Each exploding in color in her own time.  He invites me to sit. Listen. 

And He crushes my heart with the beauty of His plan.

How He has created each tree, just so. Some will gain color and lose leaves before the first tinge of orange kisses the leaves of others.

And that’s okay. Each in its own time.

The grass is soft beneath me as I sit. I gaze upward and take in one who is young, yet boasting the most stunning array of color.  Although youthful compared to the giants that surround her, she reflects His glory beautifully.  She is no less in the landscape although roots still reach for depth in the soil beneath her.  Her exuberance evident in reds and oranges and yellow.  Her color not a reflection of her maturity, but His beauty and who He created her to be.

Oh, the spiritual giants that stand to her left and her right. Tall graceful necks boasting a canopy of green stretch toward blue.  Enough light bursting through their branches to nourish the young one beneath.  It is not their responsibility to cause her to grow. No, they are just conduits for His light to shine through. It is His light that grows and matures and changes. They shelter, protect, and show her the way, leaning into the sun. But the growing, that is between her and the Father.

Ah, but this other, I know her. She stands, arms outstretched among the giants. She longs for the deep roots they have.  I know her desires. I see her wondering how she fits into the landscape. Neither young and full of color nor mature and stretching toward the sky. Tips of her branches just beginning to show the flair that is autumn. She stands insecure, not seeing how she fills in the space in the landscape perfectly. How her head of just-changing color fills makes the transition from the green standing above her to the fiery red below seamless. Beautiful.  Painted by a Master Artist.  

She doesn’t wonder. He says to my heart.

She doesn’t wonder what her role, or when her own branches will spread far as the mature trees around her, or her roots tap into the richest of soil beneath. She doesn’t wonder. Do not put those insecurities on her. Those are yours, my child.

She knows who she is.

(And He CRUSHES my heart with the beauty of His plan.)

They do not compare their color. Their height. Their role in the Kingdom.

They just allow me to paint. To make their lives a reflection of my glory.

They do not strive.

They do not market their grandeur.

They merely reflect my glory. It is all I created them for.

To be my canvas.

And so I lean back. I look at my feet stretched before me, surrounded by the beauty of the fallen.  A hole worn into the toe of my shoes from many steps taken. Steps on the path He has painted before me.

The promises He has spoken over me, into me, make their way through my head.  The branches He has pruned away so that His glory can be ever more revealed.  Those branches He continues to prune.  My heart beats wildly.

All that I want is all that You have for me.

That I may have roots reaching ever deeper.

That I may be marked by the colors you paint onto me. Exuberant. Joyful.

That I may be a conduit for your light to shine onto others.

That I may be a shelter.

That I may be a canvas on which you can paint.

This is my desire for you, child.

Not that you would be as tall as her. Or as loud as her. Or as meek as her. Not that your colors would look like hers.

That you would be a canvas on which I can paint
                                                                                                                (your own story)
                                                                                                                (your own color)
                                                                                                                (your own timing)
                                                                                                                (all for my glory)

A car pulls up. My client is here and so I stand, wiping bits of earth from my legs and hands.

I glance over my shoulder. One last look at His glory revealed.

(And He crushes my heart with the beauty of His plan)

A glory revealed not in the individual leaf, or branch, or tree.
But a glory revealed in the landscape. Each singing the colors He has given them individually.

This is not about me.

This is about me taking my place in the landscape. Reflecting His glory so that the whole is covered.
This about being a canvas on which He can paint.
A conduit through which His light may shine through.

All I want, Lord, is all that YOU have for me.

Lord, have your way in me. In us. Pick up your brush… and paint...

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