They were on their knees, stomachs, on ladders, standing, and even sitting on stools. It was late in the afternoon and I could tell that they had been there working at it for a while when I rounded the corner and almost in unison they offered me their brush. I said no and encouraged them to continue to pour out their gifts on the walls that had become their canvas. Giving both their time and their talent to paint the entrance to our Children’s Ministry area was immediately inspiring to me and I said in reverent awe, “Thanks for being here, this is beyond description.”
It was an act of worship pure and simple. Tired and weary from ten thousand brushstrokes, they probably weren’t feeling it was an act of worship, but the beauty of God’s creation on those walls in and through them was spectacular. I was reminded of a line from Mark Batterson’s book, Primal where he notes, “Love isn’t measured by words spoken. Love is measured by calories burned.”
Their act of worship was work pure and simple,it was and a work that had consumed them now for several weeks. Susan, Tom, Jan, Deb, and the rest looked tired but what they had created on those walls will speak volumes of God’s love through their brushstrokes to thousands of children in our church and school for many years to come. Thanks be to God!
As I thanked them again and departed it occurred to me that in a way they were nesting. Meticulously preparing the building to warmly light the hearts and minds of newcomers, children we hadn’t met yet, but precious lives that were well worth their time, effort, talent, and sweat equity to paint such a beautiful landscape to the glory of God. Just as God carefully created the bird of paradise bloom that I captured in St. Lucia, so had these painting servants captured the beauty of the message of God’s love in their creation to share with these children and their family.
Feel free regardless of your acumen as an artist today to put God’s love in the brushstroke of whatever it is your doing as an act of worship to God. And know this, the beauty of your creation (God’s creation through you) will speak into the hearts of others the joy of Psalm 19, and the reminder that all creation declares the handiwork of God! Carpe Diem!