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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)

TITLE: At My Word
By Marsha Barrow


At My Word

The old artist picked up his brush; his grip could barely guide his hand as the arthritis crippled the greatest earthly talent he possessed. He slowly lay the brush back down and sank despairingly into his old Lazy Boy chair. His thoughts drifted to his youth, to a time when he was lost, searching, hungering and dying inside—nothing but a starving artist, believing that the day would come when his one perfect gift would be recognized by the world.

At twenty, he knew what he wanted; he chose to live a life of poverty to pursue his dream of success. His family and friends abandoned and discouraged him calling him foolish and immature. He was told to grow up and get a real job. And just when he was about to give up, about to go crawling back to his father begging for a chance to work in the family oil business, a clear, soft voice from heaven spoke encouraging words:

“My child, I created you in my image. I called you to be like Me. When the face of the deep was void and darkness covered the earth, I saw a divine canvas. I created my greatest masterpiece in six days. I divided the light from the darkness; I created the morning and the evening; the Heaven and the Earth; the dry land and the Seas; the grass and the fruit; the stars, the moon, and the sun; the great fishes and the winged fowls of every kind and the beasts of the field; and on the sixth day, I created man. I beheld that it was good.” [Genesis 1:1-31, paraphrased]

The voice of the Lord continued in a gentle whisper:

“I give gifts to My children. Each one is unique. All good and perfect gifts come from Me! The purpose of your gift is to serve and glorify Me with your life. Do not hide your gift. Do not throw it away. Do not hoard it, but use it to My glory, and stir up the gift which was given to you by Me.” [2 Timothy 1:6, paraphrased].

After God had shown the young artist His mighty workmanship, He waited. The young artist humbled himself before the Lord and received the call. From that day forward, the artist lived his life for God, not for gain, not for possessions, not for fame, not for man’s success. And God blessed him. Everything the artist touched prospered. His paintings flowed with effervescent colors, light streamed throughout each brush stroke. Thousands of people across the world wanted to own one of these “splashes of life.” But most of all, they wanted to see the splendor of God in living color.

The artist never lost his vision—a vision that always came from the Author and the Finisher of his faith.

But today, many years later, the pain in the old artist’s hands aches sorely. The shaking of his aged and decrepit body can no longer hold the brush steady. His memory fades from time to time, but his trust in God never wavers. Once again, the old artist hears that still small voice from heaven: “Well done, thy good and faithful servant—well done! Before you depart from this earth and walk the streets of glory, one more painting will I give thee.”

In a trembling, soft voice, the old artist replies, “But Lord, I am afraid the steadiness of my hand has vanished, and these eyes can no longer see the fine lines and strokes of the brush.”

“My child, just pick up the brush and I will guide your hand. I created the masterpiece of life by My word—and by My word, you shall overcome. Dip your brush into the paint, and at My word, throw forth your hand. SPLASH!”

With renewed joy, the old artist dipped and splashed, dipped and splashed at every command from God. When they found him asleep in the Lord, the brush lay in his hand and the canvas, which stood on the easel beside his old Lazy Boy chair, glowed with the magnificence of God—the artist’s most famous work.

“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands” (NKJV, Psalm 90:17).

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This article has been read 368 times
Member Comments
Member Date
lynn gipson 04/12/13
This brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I can relate to the man whose family made light of his God given gift. You are a talented writer, and should be moving up soon. I so enjoyed this piece!
C D Swanson 04/15/13
What an amazing gift you have, as evidenced by this brilliant, moving and hauntingly beautiful story.

I loved this! This will probably do well with the judges. Excellent job.

God bless~
Michelle Knoll 04/16/13
What a beautiful and touching story. You "painted" this artist's story very well! Good job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/16/13
I think this is outstanding. You really touched my heart. I have health issues and know how discouraging it can be to have my body let me down. You captured that brilliantly.

The only red ink was the first paragraph was in the past tense. I know later he was remembering earlier times so it should have been past tense, but then at the end you switched to present, which I think was an outstanding decision, but it felt like the first paragraph should have been in the present, too, then the ending brought your story full-circle.

I really felt you touched my heart in this divine piece. You covered the topic wonderfully. This is a fantastic work of art.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/18/13
Congratulations on ranking 26 overall! (The highest rankings can be found in the message boards)
Bea Edwards 04/20/13
I just loved this piece. You created a masterpiece! Well done and congratulations on your win-I look forward to reading more from you.
Judith Gayle Smith04/20/13
Exquisite - artfully done! Congratulations on your win!