A friend reminded me tonight of a conversation we'd had a while back...I'm not sure if the thoughts are entirely original, or if I'm repeating something I read somewhere. Either way, it's worth sharing.
As a teacher, I am a sucker for fresh school supplies. I love post-it notes, new pencils and notebooks, colored paper clips, you name it. But by far my favorite new school supply is a box of crayons.
Almost everyone knows the absolute joy of opening that new box and smelling the new crayon smell. You gaze down at the row of colors, all unused and perfectly sharp, and you begin to create. Perhaps it will be a rainbow, a castle, a futuristic car, the face of someone you love, or simply your name in curly cues and fancy swirls. You can't wait to use them, yet you almost hate to dull the first one as it glides across your paper.
Contrast this with the crayons children bring home in their backpacks at the year's end. Those crayons are broken, worn down, used and reused again. They have already created masterpieces....but they are no longer treasured. These crayons are tossed to the side in hopes of a new box to replace them.
What a shame. In being so enraptured with the new crayons, we forget to see the potential in the broken crayons we already have. These crayons are the ones that can be molded and blended to create colors beyond what any box can provide. These crayons can be peeled to expose the perfect side for shading and adding color to the sky. These crayons are ready to be used without fear of marring their perfection. These broken crayons truly do create some of the most beautiful pictures.
Of course, there is an analogy here....sometimes we see people, dreams and ideas the way we see these crayons. Everyone wants the new ones, the fresh ones, the ones that seem "perfect". Unfortunately in doing so we often overlook the ones that are "broken". We forget that in brokeness, we can find beauty. In brokeness, we are made whole. In brokeness, new "pictures" are created that can touch our world. Those around us that seem broken or worn out are some of the richest "colors" there are to be found. Whether it's a dream that has faded, a person who the world sees as "broken", or a life that feels worn out...in our weakness, He is made strong. There are pictures yet to create.
May your day be filled with beautiful pictures today.