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The shapes of puzzle pieces have always intrigued me. Especially the ones that look like people. An image, difficult to be unseen, once noticed. As an artist, I wanted to capture this figure in a painting. Sounds simple enough. At least the shape is simple. Being the overthinker I am, choosing the perfect colors and design to put on that missing acrylic puzzle piece proved difficult.
Taking a journey to the back of my daughter’s closet, I pull off a box from the top of a dark shelf and return to my table of art. Here I begin removing all the pieces resembling a person. Studying the colors and design of each, I sketch out some ideas. None of which spark a creative flame. I leave the bleach white shape on the canvas for another day.
Then it happened! I had one of those beautiful moments I love so much. You know the ones. When your heart, and entire body down to the tip of your toe, burns with an overwhelming joy. Joy that can warm the coldest spirit, like a grilled cheese partnered with tomato soup on a cold blustery day. That all-consuming joy, showing up out of nowhere, on a day when there is really no reason to be joyful. It’s like bottled-up sunshine wanting to spew out in every direction, capable of warming the coldest feet and lifting one’s spirit out of the darkest winter storm.
This, this is what I want to capture in the sterile white piece missing from the painting. The piece waiting to be filled with paint! A depiction of burning passion running from the soul, to the heart and all the way to the toe. Blood red must be the color! Passionate blood shed by Jesus for our sins. Red flames of peace and joy that can only come from the Holy Spirit himself.
I love the assurance Jesus gave when he told the disciples in John 14:24-26 that they, as well as ourselves, would not be left alone after He leaves. Jesus said He would ask the Father to send a Counselor to be with them forever while He’s gone. Jesus said this Advocate, the Holy Spirit, would teach us everything and would remind us of all the things He has taught us. Yes, red is the perfect color for the passion that fills our soul in those unexpected moments.
Blue should surround the passion running through the puzzle piece, representing the blue moods brought about by the battles we are all fighting. Battles with loneliness, fear, sorrow or rejection. There is no fathomable reason why we should be filled with such joy at a time when gale winds are holding us down as we defend ourselves from the sharpness of a cold pounding that could destroy us in seconds if our tenderness was exposed. But not on this day. Blue Mood will be chased away by the blueness of contentment and peace as passion and joy are emanating from the vein running through. For today we are filled with a glee. We realize we are in the presence of God! Earthly problems become small when compared to the love He has for us. All is well with our soul.
Paints spread out, canvas before me, I pick up the brush and streak an acrylic line of bold red passion flowing from the head, to the heart, to the toes. Mixed hues of blue and aqua cheerfully develop around the vein as joy warms the body and soothes our spirit. Blues of inner peace and tranquility splash around inside as excitement fills our entire being.
Every day, even during the challenging times, we need to practice making the choice to be filled with joy. We can ask the Holy Spirit to come into our heart and chase away the blue mood we are incapable of stamping out on our own. This is possible in every storm, or season of life, when following God’s truths and trusting him with our future. When we trust him, our worries go away. Our face will radiate peace during our struggles. An unmistakable peace, noticed by others, which will become our witness to God’s love and trustworthiness.
by Angela Mattingly
Texas, USA - firstname.lastname@example.org
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