Tonight at Vacation Bible School, the children in my class of 4- and 5-year-olds colored pictures of a crucifix. As we discussed the death of Christ, the teacher explained what a cross was and told them to color the ones in their books.
I watched as they rushed to grab crayons and fill in the crosses on their papers. Once they were on track, I turned to my own picture and did the same.
After a few moments, I glanced at the work of the little girl next to me. She had strayed from the instructions, taking it upon herself to color Christ’s body as well.
“Hold on,” I said. “You’re just supposed to color the cross right now. You’ve started coloring Jesus.”
She surveyed her work and pointed to the part of His body that had not yet been colored. “It’s okay,” she assured me. “Look, you can still see His face.”
Indeed you could. It remained untouched. All hope was not lost.
Lately I’ve been thinking more than I should. On several occasions, my thoughts have drifted back to mistakes I’ve made, times in which I’ve colored outside of the lines or failed to follow instructions. I’ve been staring at the drawing of my life, lamenting the mess that I made.
However, if I stopped looking at what I have done wrong, if I were not so drawn to all the loud colors scribbled hastily in the wrong places, I could plainly see Jesus’ face. It is unchanged – still peaceful, still full of love and adoration. And focusing on His face, rather than dwelling on the less than beautiful parts of my past, reminds me that I am forgiven. Better still, it calls attention to the many parts of the picture that I have yet to color.
If I could peel my eyes away from my errors and fix them on His face, I would realize that through Him, I have a clean slate.
SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.