He could barely control his enthusiasm; if you didn’t know what was going on, you’d think the five-year-old was going to wet his pants. But he just danced around, waiting for me to pull the huge roll of brown shipping paper down from the shelf. The first time I got it for him, his eyes bugged out of his head. He decided right then that I was the coolest grandpa ever.
Once I got the roll down, he started showing me how big of a piece of paper he needed for his painting. He held his arms as far apart as he could reach, saying, “This big, grampa.” I tore it off and placed the paper on the table.
As he climbed into the dining room chair, he reached for his plastic case of paints. Pulling out the blue, green, red, yellow and purple canisters – then the brushes, and sponges, he was ready to provide me with an afternoon of great entertainment.
Grabbing the red, he began to paint across the bottom of the paper – spiking it up in points from the bottom edge. He said he was painting the grass. When I remarked that grass is green, he said “Not in my world. In my world it’s red!” He then grabbed the brush, filled it with purple and started placing streaks down into the grass, and then connected them upwards. I cocked my head for a second and said, “Is that a tree?” “Of course,” he said, “a purple tree. Have you seen a purple tree?” I only smiled.
As he continued to add yellow clouds, a green sun and birds of every color that he could mix together – it dawned on me that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.
The colors did not make sense to the world I was used to seeing, but in his mind, the colors were perfect.
It was then that I realized my colors were my limitation, not his. For him, the possibilities were endless.
What a colorful world that God had given us. We were used to the colors we saw every day. But God saw us in a different light. Maybe to him the clouds were yellow, the sun was green, the grass was red, trees were purple – how were we to know? His eyes are so different than ours. After all, to God, we were made perfect.
He sent Jesus to us as our Savior, he sees us through a prefect lens, one that we don’t have – but we will have it – someday. When we join him in Heaven, perhaps gold streets will be blue, the tree of life will be red, the pools of water will be brown and it won’t be a bad thing. How do we know for sure what colors mean to him?
As my grandson continued to paint, I leaned back in my chair and looked over his shoulder. There – a pink dog next to the tree – oh no, only a boy would draw that, I laughed out loud.
Then came the stick figures, blue for grandpa, orange for grandma, green for himself, his three cousins are all yellow, and much smaller than the stick figure of himself… I wondered what that signified, if anything, to a five-year-old. Mommy and daddy were both black with red hands, and bigger than everyone else in the picture. It was interesting that mommy and daddy were the only ones with hands at all.
Then the final piece was added, a rainbow. Not that there was any reason for a rainbow, he had not even mentioned rain… but what child can have a bunch of different paints and a canvas and not paint a rainbow?
As he drew the brushstrokes across the sky and through the yellow clouds, he created a rainbow worthy of the most impressive refrigerator art.
I reached for the completed picture and told him that once it dried – it would be displayed with pride on the refrigerator door. After all, those doors were made for grandkids’ artwork.
The world in his painting might not mirror what I see, but it is a colorful world.
Isn’t that what God planned?
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