Janet looked around nervously. This is not like Mom’s church, she thought, looking around. Susie was right. People wore jeans, even cutoffs. Susie waved to her. She slid into the aisle seat next to her friend, feeling stiff and self conscious in her straight skirt and jacket.
The musicians on the stage began to play and people stood up, clapping and singing a lively chorus.
The pastor did not preach at them; he talked about living your faith. Her heart warmed in a way she had never felt before. When he prayed, she felt as if he spoke directly to God.
Afterward, Susie asked, “Did you like it?”
Janet nodded. It was sure different, but yes, she liked it.
At school the next day, she felt different, lighter somehow. She walked into the Art room and noticed for the first time the brilliance of the colors Miss Patch used around the room. Bright mats set off the sketches they did last week.
“Today, we will be doing watercolor, class,” the teacher announced. “I want you to wet the paper and use a large brush to add color.”
Janet hesitated. What are we supposed to do, she wondered. Sketching was neat, precise. It followed rules of perspective and shape. The wide white paper looked so open and blank.
She took a deep breath and dipped the brush into a water jug. Slowly, she swept water across the paper, creating a wide path. She picked up some cerulean blue and dropped color across the wet paper. It flowed out, creating a summer sky. A few dry areas, still white, floated across it like drifting clouds.
After she rinsed the brush, she dipped it hesitantly into a bright red. The color blossomed when she dotted it onto the wet paper, creating splashes like red poppies. She added yellows and greens. Absorbed in the flowing colors, she worked through the hour and was startled when the bell rang.
Engrossed in her thoughts, she did not hear the teacher approach until she spoke.
“Don’t touch a thing, Janet. This is beautiful. You really got the colors to flow.”
Standing back, Janet saw how the colors blended together in harmony. It’s like the joy I felt in church yesterday, she thought. There is more color in my life too.
Faith, she realized, is much more than a set of rules for behavior. It is a relationship, just like the pastor said. It is “Christ in me, the hope of glory.”
She smiled and thanked the teacher while her heart echoed another thank you to God.
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