The Paint Shed. (Finding God in Unlikely Places)
I went away last weekend to a Healing Thru Creativity Retreat.
I’d never done anything like that before, but my friend had invited me and so I thought, why not?
It was a pretty full on few days. Choosing from the sixteen activities they had on offer each day was a juggling act to say the least! The leader of the programme encouraged everyone to step outside their comforts zones in the areas of creativity, because we may be surprised what we discover about ourselves.
So what did I do?
Glad you asked.
I decided I would try some painting, as it was definitely outside my comfort zone.
It was held in the Paint Shed.
“Excuse me, where’s the paint shed?” I asked a helpful ‘red badge’ person.
“Just up that path,” he replied with a glint in his eye.
Did he know something that I didn’t?
…AND THEN I WENT TO THE PAINT SHED.
The gravelled path steeped upwards and was lined with cherry blossom trees that danced about in the breeze, and standing at the top of the hill was the paint shed.
As I walked towards the paint shed, I began to cry. Quickly, I suppressed the emotion.
Why was I so emotional?
I was only walking to a paint shed.
I told God in my mind that there was no way I was going to have a ‘meltdown’ around people I didn’t even know.
No way. Period.
When I arrived at the paint shed I put on the plastic smock provided, squeezed blue, red and yellow paint into the paint pots, picked up a paint brush and stood in front of the blank piece of paper.
I was in control of this situation. I was ready to paint whatever came to my mind.
I needed to perform this task of painting a picture and then I could move onto the next creative activity I had ticked on my list for that day.
And so I waited.
I stared at the blank piece of paper for a long time.
No picture came into my mind. No inspiration.
But something did eventually come.
But it wasn’t what I expected.
It was tears. Lots of them, streaming down my face.
I looked up at the splashes of paint above my head along the wooden beams on the ceiling of the paint shed. They were from people who had gone wild with their brushes and paint.
Free to express exactly what they were feeling.
That’s what I wanted to be.
Free to feel totally undone.
Free from the lies I had listened to for so long. That I had to perform to feel valued, accepted and affirmed in my life.
I didn’t want to paint inside the lines anymore. I didn’t want to always feel like I had to ‘perform’ perfectly to feel valued and loved.
I need to know how much I was worth.
FINDING GOD IN UNLIKELY PLACES
And that’s what happened in that paint shed.
I met God in an unlikely place.
I felt affirmed and valued and loved all at the same time.
I didn’t have to ‘perform’ so God could love me.
He had loved me right from the start, when He knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)
He didn’t want me to be the Court Jester. He wanted me to know that I was his child, a daughter of a King.
After many tears and some prayer with a lovely ‘red badge’ lady, I did paint something.
It’s not Picasso or Van Gogh’s standards by any stretch of the imagination.
But it didn’t matter.
To God it is a Masterpiece.
Because His daughter painted it.
And I am sure God will be putting it on His Heavenly fridge, just like any other proud Father.
Have you ever felt like you have had to ‘perform’ to feel valued or loved?