The dreary, gray winter weather had become an unwelcome guest. I longed for color— a brightness to energize my spirit. I looked around at my earth-tone living room furniture. A glance at the scripture messages and pictures hanging on the walls reminded me they too blended in with the muted browns. A pop of color, preferable red, was just what the doctor ordered.
I began looking through stores and catalogs for just the right painting. I didn’t know what I was looking for but was sure I would know the minute I saw it. Nothing captured my attention in my search. My friend suggested we look online to the place where she had purchased a painting which I admired, although the blues and golds were not the vibrant color I longed for. We scrolled through all the pictures. I would pause and contemplate anything with red, but once again was disappointed. On a whim I googled ‘large canvas prints’ and clicked onto a site. We slowly began scrolling down through the prints, one by one.
“No. No. That’s not it. Nope.” Disappointment covered me. “Wait! Go back. That’s it!”
There was the perfect picture. I intended to order it no matter what, but the 50% off made me feel God was nodding, “Yes, this is for you.”
A few days went by while I eagerly awaited the arrival of my purchase. I was anticipating putting the 48” x 48” print on a large wall in front of my favorite chair. I planned to look at it frequently, expecting it to bring me pleasure.
You are probably expecting to hear that the painting was a big disappointment, that a colorful picture was not going to bring me the delight I anticipated. But you would be wrong. This picture has not only brought wonderful vibrancy to the room, it continually gives me reminders and illustrations of God’s love and grace.
The picture draws me in to the struggles in life and victory in Jesus. Two breathtaking scarlet poppies rise above the dark fuzzy depths of stems and grass and growth. Their stunning color and depth display a picture of strength and freedom, as the petals open like outstretched arms to embrace the Beloved.
The darkness below speaks of the struggle to rise above the mire. Delicate stems begin the climb upward but curl back toward the ground in defeat. The need for the sun is evident, but the willingness to persevere through the battle seems to be missing for many. The flowers that overcome develop strength and beauty as they rise toward the heavens and the light.
Behind the poppies, a distant tree line appears in a mist dimly. Tops of evergreens speak of their long journey to become mighty, but they are shrouded in a mysterious fog, making me long for it to pass, so I can see their might, clearly.
As my eyes peruse the scene, I am drawn back among the flowers. Off to one side a tall strand of wheat tilts toward the poppies. I am struck by the clarity and detail. Each grain and sprig of this one plant is in clear contrast to everything else. I am reminded that occasionally God lifts the veil and gives us a clear vision of the path before us.
Finally I look above the treetops and what a glorious sight! Clouds of grandeur float through the sky, intertwined like arms of best friends on a morning walk. Golden colors blend the clouds together and draw the eye to a place of brilliant light. God has opened the heavens and given a peek of its glory.
This picture has clearly energized my spirit. The painting inspires me to overcome, to keep my hope on the promise of heaven, and to live each day in strength and grace in the light of the Son.
Author’s note: to view the print go to great big canvas.com. Type in search box Red for Love. Scroll down four lines to find the picture with that title.