Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: It's a Colorful World (12/03/09)
- TITLE: Joseph's Spray Of Many Colors
By Mariane Holbrook
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Which gave him an edge from the start.
His mother had brought him to school that first day;
Already he’d stolen my heart.
I greeted him warmly but that didn’t stop
The tears that spilled down from his eyes.
He clung to his mother and begged her to stay.
Heartbroken, she said her goodbyes.
I seated him close to my desk near the front
In case he’d be scared and in need.
He spoke not a word the entire first day
And kept his eyes closed when I’d read.
His clothes were quite tattered and soiled as well;
His tennis shoes tied with some string.
I thought of the clothes that my sons had outgrown
And pondered what things I could bring.
The unopened crayons were still on his desk;
Had he never used crayons before?
I passed out new art sheets and asked them to draw
Their house with its windows and door.
He chose a black crayon and carefully drew
A house so forbidding and grim.
He colored it black, all the windows and door,
For reasons known only to him.
Each day after lunch, students worked on their art,
Selecting bright crayons at will.
But Joseph continued to color with black
Until the day Joseph fell ill.
I stopped by his hospital room every day
And took him some art paper, too.
We talked about colors and finally I asked,
“Is black rather special to you?”
Since we were alone with no students around,
He told me they lived in a shack.
Some discarded tarpaper covered their house;
That’s why his “art houses” were black.
We talked about colors in God’s crayon box,
And why God created each hue.
“He made every color for gardens on earth,
To show He loves me and loves you.”
So thrilled Joseph was with the colors he saw
In books that I brought him to read.
That soon all the crayons were gone from his box;
He’d used them all up with great speed.
One day I arrived at his hospital room.
The room had been stripped and was bare.
Propped up on a table some artwork was left;
My name had been written with care.
His mother was with him the last time I went.
She thanked me for prayers for her boy.
Before I had left, both confessed Christ as Lord.
We wept but the tears were of joy.
Across his small coffin fresh flowers were laid,
“I have a request,” he had said.
“Don’t use just one color, all red or all white.
Please use many colors instead.”
I knew in my heart in the great heavenlies
A small boy looked down from above.
He thanked the Lord Jesus for colors He’d made
And painting his flowers with love.
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