Watercolors and Grace


I had an artistic experience yesterday that presented a small lesson. I decided I wanted to try my hand at a watercolor painting. Now, you must understand that I have no idea how to use watercolors. On top of that, I have barely a thimble full of artistic talent in me. But, still I tried.

I started with a wonderful piece of art to look at. It was painted by Richard Stevens, a brilliant artist from Hot Springs, Arkansas. I had no plan to copy his art, just to use it as a guide, thinking that if I studied his light and dark areas, I would be on my way to a personal masterpiece of some kind.

What I learned anew about watercolors is that you cannot control them. They flow where they want to flow and bleed where they choose to bleed. So in an instant, my painting took on a life of its own!

Reminds me of life in a way. We can lay it out like we want to, choose the “colors” we love, plan the central plot, but try as we might, we cannot control the outcome. Life flows like a watercolor painting, and the finished product is always a serendipity. We simply have no control.

By the way, I actually kind of liked my little painting, although it looked nothing like the work of Richard Stevens. And I discovered that having control isn’t the best plan anyway.

As far as life goes, it really is best to leave it in the hands of the master artist, a God who is full of grace toward us. So, thank you, God, for my complete lack of control. Thank you for painting my life with your colors, not mine. Thank you for even a thimble full of artistic ability. Thank you for the gift of creativity. Thank you for your unending grace.

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