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by Sheri Adams
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Have you ever stopped to gaze at a picture that you found very beautiful or captivating and found yourself staring at it for a long period of time? I have. My favourite painter has officially been given the title The Painter of Light. His Name is Thomas Kinkade.

Chances are, many of you have heard of him. If you have not, search for his name and you will become captivated by the beauty in his work. His work now extends into puzzles, Bibles, paint by numbers, T-shirts and so much more. His paintings are even on mugs and other little gifts that brighten a personís smile when they see it.

But more than Thomas Kinkadeís work, there is another work I like far beyond his. This painter does not just stick to lights in cottages and trickling rivers. No, this painter paints landscapes, sunsets, mountain views, sunrises and so much more. I have never seen any painting I have enjoyed better than the ones from this man.

The colours he uses are glorious! I have never seen such a beautiful blend of beauty in colours. How he is able to do the work in the short period of time he does, I donít know. If I ever get the chance, I plan ok asking him his secret.

The painter I am talking about is God. YesÖGod. Every morning He paints a new sunrise for us to enjoy as we wake to the smell of coffee and toast. We watch the beautiful blend of pinks, oranges, reds, yellows and then blues. For almost every person who has been up in time to see an entire sunrise, it is magical! Watching the dark night go away and having the light of God shine upon all creation. It is an awe-inspiring gift we are blessed with every morning.

Then every evening, He paints us a sunset. (My preference is for sunsets.) I watch as the sun sets. First, it sets very slowly and you see hues of pink, red and yellow, sometimes blended with lilacs and purples while the sun is still a bright yellow, blinding to the eye. Not 2 minutes later, the view has changed. I am able to look more closely to the sun now and the colours are more blended and full of beauty. There is more pink and less blue and lilac. Within the next thirty minutes, the sun has gone down and all is darkness. However, is it all darkness?

At night when it seems so dark, God paints the sky full of stars and the greater light, the moon, to light our world. He never wants us to be in darkness for He is Light. He paints the 2 Dippers, Orion and so many more constellations that it is mind baffling to see them all and to try and pick your favourites out. I can usually pick out 3 of them.

Across the Prairies of Canada, He paints fields of golden wheat as far as the eye can see. And on the West coast of Canada and the USA, He paints the Rocky Mountains. I have never seen the Prairies or the mountains except for in pictures here and there. Nevertheless, I bet to see them up close and personal would be stunning. I have no doubt that my camera would wear out by the time I finished taking the pictures!

For those of us not fortunate enough to see the Prairies and mountains, God paints other little things that awe and inspire us. Lakes that have a ballet of sunlight dancing upon them usually cause me to smile and, more often, to laugh as I watch their little display.. Forests where trees and nature come together become an inspiration for any artist or writer. Shooting stars to make wishes upon and see if our dreams come true take us back to our childhood when we believed that if we wished upon a star our dreams would come true.

Everywhere you look, you can see God painting just for you. Just look at nature in and of itself around you. Think of the various kinds of animals and creatures out there. Some of them, like cats and dogs are our best friends who eventually become part of our family. God painted them into our homes. Others like deer, amaze me with their beauty. The loons crying on the lakes and rivers make my soul and my face smile. The beavers slapping their tails as a warning that outsiders are nearby and more are there to fascinate our minds. Listening to the birds will help you pin point where they are and you are then able to see the beauty of blue, red, yellow, green, orange and more amidst the beauty of their distinguishing songs.

Beauty is everywhere and there is many a famous painter. Nevertheless, no painter compares to that of God. His pallet of paints holds colours we could never create here on Earth. He is constantly painting. Each season opens up a different book for Him to work in. Each new season brings with it new sensations and beauties. His pallet is always changing but the quality never diminishes.

In the Winter, He paints many places white with snow and blue with ice. Beautiful thick or fine snowflakes fall as God scatters His confetti upon us. The ground is white, pure as lambís wool for children to build snowmen and angels. Beautiful to look at, fun to play in and yet cold enough to keep us smart so we do not become too cold. He does this by making it darker longer and faster in the winter. That means that on a clear night, if you can stand the cold, you can see more stars Ė especially if you live in a town or a village where there are few, if any, streetlights.

Come Spring, the snow starts to melt and you begin to see the trickling of the creeks, rivers as the ice begins to melt away. They run into lakes and other bodies of water that soon fill with life that is visible to the eye one more time. Flowers start to pop their heads out of the ground to show off their beauty that God created them to be. Grass starts to appear and take away the drudgery of the now black and greyish slush that we have to tramp through to get anywhere. Trees start to bud and we are excited for we know it will not be long until we have leaves for the summer.

SummerÖmy favourite season!!! I love to be alive in summer. Iím the type of person who gets cold very easily and takes forever to warm up. Even in the hot sultry weather we can get in the summer, I can get cold. I love it because the days are long and the light lasts longer. The rivers and lakes are there to swim in and the flowers and bushes you planted last year are now in full bloom. God has brought everything that lay dormant in the winter to life now in summer. The breeze is warm, the sky is blue, the grass is green, the trees are green, the birds are flying about, the butterflies colour the skies and on the glories of Godís painting goes.

Can you think of a painter who can paint 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year? Humanly it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. God is not only the Painter of Light, but He is Light Himself.

He paints beautiful pictures for those of us fortunate enough to live in more civilized countries such as Canada and the USA. Nevertheless, even in the impoverished area, there is beauty. Oh, I would love to go to Africa to see the land there, or to Australia Ė the land down under. However, I really do not want to face the dangers like crocodiles, snakes, lions and tigers. I am quite happy to stay here in Ontario where the cougar and the mountain lion are far from where I am.

Even when it storms, God is painting. The clouds darken as He adds more black paint to the canvas. The rain begins to come down like diamonds falling from the sky. The lightning flashes a brilliant and often frightening golden yellow followed by the unseen clap of thunder. Personally, I am afraid or storms, and yet fascinated by them. They are awesome in their force. As a kid, I used to think when it thundered, that God was bowling and He had scored a strike and the lightning was Heavenís way of applauding Him. Now I just see it as His awesome beauty displaying His mighty power.

Then there are the storms that devastate the land. Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and more are Godís hand at work painting the canvas still. We view these as horrible natural disasters Ė and they are. However, I believe it is Godís way of wanting to change something in that area. In their own way, they are still God painting His creation.

Godís creation is ever in motion and that is why His canvas is always changing. Whether He changes his canvas at the end of every new day or paints over the one He has been using, I do not know, and I really do not care. I only know that God honours me and is ever so kind as to be continually offering me new sights to see.

Whom else do you know that can paint all these things in such a realistic fashion? To find an awesome artist, one who inspires, awes, and amazes you, all you have to do is look around you. Every new day there is something to see. All you have to do is open your eyes. Oh, your eyes may be open, but they are not open to see the true paintings around you. Open them up and see the glory of Godís creations Ė you included. There is no painter compare to God.

So the next time you look at a painting, consider that the artistís painting you are gazing at has gotten his or her inspiration from the Painter Of Life and Light. He always gives us a new picture to look at almost every minute of the day. Then consider who the real painter is and who truly does the painting and the inspiring. Thomas Kinkade may be the Painter of Light here on Earth, but God is the Painter of Light, Life and Love and He paints it everyday for you. Just open your eyes and look around if you want to see a true painting masterpiece.

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