The Inspiration for Coloring Life Beautiful

 

Pain inspired it.coloring

Beauty will heal it.

After years of chronic pain and disability,

After experiencing another in a long sequence of treatments gone wrong,

After losing a healthy, athletic body training to climb a  mountain at age 50,

After crying lakes of tears and books of prayers,

After almost dying,

After barely living,

After being given the gift of desperation…

God gave me this:

coloring life beautiful

“Color your life beautiful,” He said. “Go outside with your camera and find the beauty in the ordinary and even the ugly.”

I took pictures of dead flowers, variegated leaves, gloomy skies, iron grids…and a hose left in the garden.

A hose left abandoned for far too long…a symbol of my inability to put it away…and an ugly reminder of the consequences of pain.

“Take a picture,”  nudged the Spirit.

I placed my feet next to the curved loop of the hose in the near dead grass.

I saw it.

Through the lens of my camera, the beauty I had deemed ugly appeared.

There was beauty in the curves, and the way my toes longed to enter into the loop, as if they were afraid to jump-rope into the joy God was revealing.

Beauty revealed. In a garden hose lying in dead grass.

Later, God led me to this scripture:

Take a good look at God’s work. Who could simplify and reduce Creation’s curves and angles to a plain straight line?  Ecclesiastes 7:13 MSG

No more drawing straight lines in life from the cage of my pain.

I went outside it.

I went looking for beauty, and found it in so many places and so many faces. In words, pictures and music beauty was stirred up and rose from the ashes of the destruction of the pain.

Beauty heals.

Beauty saves.

Beauty loves.

Beauty hopes.

Beauty is.

I need to discover Beauty every day. I need to eat the bread of it and read the handwriting of it–my story rewritten in red.

Rewritten in redemption.

So I’m coloring life beautiful every day.

IMG_2790Linda Crawford

You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Philippians 4:8 MSG

©Linda Crawford 2013

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