By Reverend J. Pete Hyde
He stands before a large, empty, stark white canvas with paint and brushes at the ready. It is time to create. With the skill of a Master Artist, He begins. He starts with a pure blue and brushes the top of the canvas. He smiles as if gaining strength and inspiration from the first few brush strokes. With a sense of mission He changes brushes and colors and is now fully immersed in His task. Hues of red, yellow, orange, brown and green begin to fill the canvas with so much color it would take your breath away if you could see. Gray and brown and white break the rainbow of colors and add contrast and a depth of beauty that only a master could portray. Across the azure blue He sweeps strands of grey and white. He steps back for a moment and looks at his creation. It seems like the painting goes on forever, flows off the edges of the canvas and fills His entire field of vision. But something is missing. Even though it’s brilliant, it’s just a lifeless canvas. Yes, it was pretty and inspiring, but it’s a flat picture. Something else was needed.
He raised His hand and spoke life into the canvas. The grey strands of clouds streaked across the pure, blue sky driven by a crisp north wind. The red, yellow, orange, green and brown came to life as the wind rustled through the leaves. The sun, breaking through the blotchy clouds, made the colors in the valley contrast between subdued shadows and brilliant exclamation points of color. The grey, black and white cliffs towering hundreds of feet above the valley floor framed each section of color. A lull in the wind allowed the sounds of the river below to echo through valley. The rain from the day before brought forth the smell of fallen leaves. The smell of smoke from a fireplace somewhere lingered in the air and added to the magic of the scene.
The couple stood on the overlook. Little was said. Pictures were taken. The moments, company of each other and the presence of the Master Artist was all that was needed. As they drove the winding roads, the leaves of infinite color swirled around them. With each break in the tree line the beauty of the living canvas brought new images and inspiration. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!!”
As I settled into the office routine this morning, I thought, “Now back to reality.” But this too, is the day the Lord has made and I need to rejoice in it, no matter what it brings. This, too, is the reality of where God has planted me and asked me to grow and bear fruit, so I must rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 104:31-34 says: “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him for I rejoice in the Lord.”