Last week I painted 4 paintings. Actually I painted them all in under an hour, which is pretty efficient, even for me. Sometimes the creative inspiration hits, and you just have to go with it. As any frequent writer or artist knows, sometimes the magic is there, and sometimes it’s just…not. I’ve learned to listen to my creative child when it’s yelling to come out. If I don’t, or if I push it off until later, sometimes it never comes back or at least doesn’t have the same brilliance it once did.
My friend passed away, which I talked a little more about in this post, and to honor him I invited all of his family and friends over on the one year anniversary of his passing for a celebration of his life. As part of the celebration, I painted 4 large canvases of different colors, that when pushed together created the Chicago skyline. Chicago was his favorite city. My friend had 3 sisters and very loving parents, all who love God and glorify Him with their lives. I couldn’t send them home from this celebration empty-handed.
So each of those 4 family members were given a painting to take home. The beauty of this artwork was not just in the vibrancy of color and meaning, but that we had made it interactive as part of the event. Throughout the afternoon, everyone in attendance wrote across the top of each painting, following these 4 themes: a prayer, something you’re thankful for about my friend, your favorite memory, and a loving message to the family.
As I sat watching everyone thoughtfully write their quotes and prayers on the paintings, I thought about the Lord. I thought about the beauty of this idea, and how much it would mean to this grief-burdened family – for literally years to come. Ideas like this don’t come from us, they come from Him. The Bible says that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights” (James 1:17).
How grateful I was that afternoon for the Father of heavenly lights. For the light that He put in me, and allowed me to share with others. These moments really are what living is all about.