Friday, December 27, 2013

A color filled day........

Tonight Ken and I went to an amazing light show at the Morton Arboretum near our home.  Even though I have the end of this nasty cold and my nose is running and I'm coughing, we decided that 37 degrees was the best we were going to have (our predicted high for the next couple of days is single digits!)  So after I completed work today, we left for the show.  The sun was still setting when we got there, but unlike our first attempt at this event, we were directed to the main parking lot.  There were lots of people and cars, but we found a parking spot fairly quickly and only waited in line a few minutes to get our tickets.  There is a mile long walking path with various light displays around every turn.  It's amazing how different the place looks with spot lights and flashing lights of every color.  While it was chilly, it wasn't unbearable.  There were fires burning (which smelled just wonderful) and little concession stands around every turn.  We treated ourselves to a wonderful cup of hot cocoa, which certainly made the last half of the walk more enjoyable.  It was a really neat capper to our holiday celebrations.  Ken mentioned that he would like to put in a suggestion that they have an "adults only" night for members.  I told him it sounded like a good idea! 

Today at work, I was painting with the kids again.  This time we are making snow flakes and mittens to display on the front windows of the center.  Jackie got a great idea off of Pintrest that actually worked quite well.  We made masking tape snowflakes on white paper and had the kids paint the entire paper any color that they wanted.  Then when it drys you peel off the tape and you have a really cool looking white snowflake on a colored background!  So now there will be giant mittens catching snow flakes on the windows. 

I was just thinking how these two things are similar.  Both involve using amazing colors in unexpected ways.  You don't expect to see trees with such vivid colors and you also don't expect to see a snowflake emerge from a painted piece of paper. Both require creativity and thinking outside of the box.    I love that the snowflakes were hidden from view as the paintings were drying.  I loved that kids were so excited to see the finished snowflake.  I love that the trees looked like sculptures and not trees when painted with lights.  Yep, I had a colorful day today.

I am so glad that even when our lives look dark and bleak, much like those woods at the Arboretum actually are, the light of Jesus can change everything.  When Jesus shines his light in us and through us, we become those amazing dancing lights filling the world.  And I am also glad that when we try to just "put on a happy face" when things are not going well (just like those pictures were painted over with bright colors), Jesus knows whats underneath that fake smile. His love and care and compassion can turn our attempt to hide our problems into a beautiful picture when he strips away our false emotion.  Then His joy and love can change that fake smile into a genuine grin.

Jesus, thank you for reminding me that your light changes everything!  Thank you for your love and joy and peace that turns our feeble attempt at false happiness into genuine joy.  Holy Spirit, I love that you show me so much in paintings by 3 year olds and in glorious light shows.  Amen


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