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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: It's a Colorful World (12/03/09)

TITLE: Living Color
By Chris Janzen


As long as she could remember, Katie loved to draw and paint. It probably started that Christmas when she got the extra large box of crayons from Santa, the really cool one, with the built in sharpener.

As she peeled off the shiny silver wrapping and tore the red bow from the box, her eyes flew open wide. She had never seen so many beautiful colors! She carefully removed each crayon and started to create her first works of art.

She drew one elaborate, colorful picture after another; of her family and friends and dogs and cats. She drew all that day and never stopped.

As Katie grew, so did her talent, and art became more than just a past time. Now it was her passion, her love, her therapy, and her vocation.

As an artist Katie was always drawn to projects that used lots of color. She had admired charcoal sketches, and was very impressed, but to her they were like black and white movies; good, but much better in living color.

Kate, now almost 30, was living in the same small town she had grown up in. She had gone away to school and enjoyed the intoxicating lure of those beautiful bright lights of the big city, but her heart kept calling her back. She had come home one Christmas and never got around to leaving.

She walked through her neighborhood that evening, enjoying the quietest quiet there is...that of freshly falling snow. She marveled at how the vibrant colored lights on her neighbors' houses brightened up the dark, monochromatic world around her.

Kate loved winter with its intricate, crystalline snowflakes fluttering gently from Heaven, and trees that looked as if they were sculpted of ice. There was no color, just the white of the snow and the gray of the sky. The Christmas lights were a welcome intrusion into this beautiful, though black and white world.

Kate's mind drifted back to that Christmas Eve service a few years back when she attended church with her parents. It was the the first time in years she had been in church, and it felt wonderful.

As she walked in, she saw her old friend Luke, still as friendly as he had been on their first day of kindergarten. He wrapped her in a big bear hug, his blue eyes sparkling at the sight of her. In all the years she had known him, she never noticed the intense blueness of his eyes.

Luke was a dynamic Christian, and Kate realized they still had much in common, despite the different paths their lives had taken. The renewed friendship brought joy and color to a world that had seemed very bland and empty for her the past few years.

She saw Jesus in Luke; in the way he treated people, how he spoke and acted, and the way he was with her. Jesus was in his words, his actions, in every part of his life. The more time she spent with him, the more he inspired her to be a better person.

The light bulb went off and she finally understood that Jesus was the One she needed to fill that empty place inside. Kate knew she had not been true to the values she had been raised on, and had sorely neglected her relationship with the Lord. She and Luke started attending church together and once again she walked in sweet fellowship with The Lord.
It wasn't long before their friendship blossomed into love like neither had ever experienced. It took Luke a while to reveal his feelings for her, but when he did, Kate was overjoyed. She knew immediately he was the one she had been waiting for, praying to come into her life.

As she walked she thought of all the beauty Luke had brought into her life. Five years they had been together painting their beautiful, colorful portrait of love.

She rubbed her belly and smiled at the image of things to come. Rosy cheeks, soft pink blankets, sparkling blue eyes, colored toys and clothes, and especially...crayons.

She thought of the pictures their little boy had drawn for her, each one more priceless than any painting in a museum. As she made her way to the door, she admired the lights on their own little house, and thanked God for all of it: this love, this family...this beautiful life.

“This is my masterpiece,” she whispered, “the one Jesus painted just for me...in living color.”

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