Friday, August 26, 2011

Not the Brightest Crayon

"Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing?  Can one really explain this?  No."  ~Pablo Picasso

I can.

I've heard the saying "Not the Brightest Crayon in the Box" is meant to be derogatory. It's essentially calling the person, referenced in the saying, stupid. We had a Sunday School lesson not too long ago about "why we go to church" and while the curriculum discussed things such as "serving others" and "learning more about the Lord",  my thoughts went straight to crayons. 

Why crayons you may ask? First off, because our Lord is an brilliant artist and it is HE who uses us and causes the beauty to come from us.  Secondly, because a church body is made up of different people with different talents, personalities, upbringings, pleasures, dislikes and sometimes even spiritual practices. What I wanted to teach the kids in calling us crayons in an analogy was this:

Sure, there are colors that stand out more. Sure, there are colors that are used more. Sure there are colors that everyone wants to use in their picture. But if you glance at the landscape of the world around you, you will find that it takes ALL colors to make it beautiful. It requires browns to define the mountains and the sturdiness of the tree trunks. It takes the grays to demonstrate the sharpness of the rocks against the sky and the silvery coat of a wolf. It requires the white to bring the feathery clouds into view. It needs the black to make the stars pop from the sky and the moon to glow and light up the night. Every color is used. And while you may believe that a color, perhaps your color is not very important. I dare you to glance around again at God's creation and it's beauty. The oranges, browns, blacks in the birds, the olive and lime greens of the leaves, the mustard and lemon yellows in the flowers, the peach, brown, pink, yellow and tan colors of our skin...they all matter. They are all beautiful. 

How is God using you and the uniqueness He gave you to brighten up your world? Maybe you're a blue, red, purple or pink? Maybe you're not. But what colors stand out more because you simply exist? What colors appear more beautiful because you compliment them? Maybe your color is really close to another's...without each other, the painting is flat but together you bring depth.  And without you...they would simply fade into the scenery. It doesn't matter if your are the brightest or flashiest color...what matters is that you allow your color to show. 

God is the artist of this world and of our lives. He makes no mistakes. He has been and is creating an amazing masterpiece..and uses every color to make it happen. You are part of that masterpiece. So the next time you feel unneeded, unwanted, unusable, ineffective, dull, ugly,...remember the Artist who made you and watch for His hand to guide and use you in the just the right place to make His Art more beautiful.  

That day in Sunday school, I gave each kid a single color and asked them to contribute to a picture I had drawn in black and while by adding their color to it, being mindful that their color could not dominate the picture else it loses it's perspective. But to look for areas that needed their color to make it more colorful, more interesting and to give it more depth or texture.  This is one simple way to explain some of the purposes of the church members. 1.) To contribute to each other in a way that compliments, encourages and spurs on. 2.) To invite others to come and look at what God is doing and 3.)  For the glorification of the Artist who made us. 

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