Palette of possibilities
But he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Luke 18:27 ASV
I started looking at this photo and could barely pull my eyes away. Look at it a minute, really look. Let your eyes wander across the colors, dwelling on the ones that catch your eye. Notice the watery mixes and the one empty white square.
Do you see what I see? Yep, you got it: Possibility. Potential. Old and new, pure and tainted, bright and dark, viscous and dried, vivid and dull. I see experimentation, someone playing with how the colors will mix, creating something new from the limited materials provided. As much as I appreciate the raw materials, though, that’s really all they are. What captivates me is not what I see, but what I imagine it could become. There’s no way to predict that ahead of time, though — oh, we could study the artist’s previous work, her subject matter, and her sketches. But even then, the best we could do is make a vague guess. Even if we know her plan, she may have to react to happy accidents (or unfortunate mistakes), taking the painting in a very different direction than planned.
One person, with the best of intentions and lots of passion, still might fall very, very short. This artist might create something bold, graphic and contemporary; that one a delicate, carefully rendered, lifelike portrait. The next person might manage, in a few careful strokes, to evoke the stormy sea at night or a field of wildflowers or a dense, rich wash of color so beautiful we wish we could dive into the page, into the beauty, letting it surround us on all sides, overwhelming our senses.
It all depends on the abilities, vision, and talent of the one doing the painting.
But put this palette in a skilled master’s hands, those of a competent craftsman, one who can see the potential, who can imagine things we cannot — and these simple colors will be transformed into beauty, transparency, dimension, delicacy, boldness. Symbolism, representation, accuracy, truth. Depth and nuance, shadows and light.
Like prayer — endless possibility. Go ahead, study the palette again, but this time view it through this lens. Hope and promise, beckoning to us — ready and waiting for what could be.
It’s all about the artist. Put the watercolors into God’s capable hands, and let Him figure out the best way to put them all together. The exact mixes, the ideal placement on the page, the contrast between elements, how much water and pigment are needed and how the colors blend — it’s all up to Him. The best part? We’ve already seen His work. We can relax knowing He doesn’t make mistakes, and trust in His abilities and His vision.
We just need to yield the brush.