Recently, the road in front of our house was repaved, a long overdue project. Prior to repaving, the crews widened the road a little, so now our narrow and often treacherous road is safer. The first few days I drove on the newly paved road, I was excited – chalk that up to a less than adventurous life. Soon, though, within days of the new pavement, someone lost a paint can out of the bed of their truck and left a big splatter of blue paint on the road just a few doors down from me.
Now, my fresh new road is smeared and doesn’t feel quite so fresh and new. I know the painter or do-it-yourselfer didn’t mean to lose that paint can. It wasn’t intentional, but still, they were careless and paint happened.
I’ve considered that splatter in regards to life. Just when things are going well, someone comes along and splatters your life with unwanted drama or takes advantage of your kindness or wounds you with their careless choices. Those things happen all the time, leaving us with a mess to clean up. Some messes can’t be cleaned and leave a lasting residue right where you have to look at it each day.
When it comes to the road, time will fade the color. Years from now that blue spatter of paint will wear away and leave only a hint of color. Given enough time, a road crew will come along and repave altogether.
It’s the same with life. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but wounds eventually scar over. It may take years or decades, but the hurt that others cause will become part of your past. If you’re wise, you will choose forgiveness early on even when forgiveness isn’t sought by the offending party. Forgiveness frees you. Forgiveness allows the splatter to fade faster. In the long run for the believer, repaving will come as we spend eternity in a place where blue paint spatters no longer matter.
It’s sad to say, but I’ve been the blue paint splatter in the lives of others. My choices and actions have hurt the people I love. Most likely, you’ve done the same. Now, I try to be more aware of how my words and actions can cause harm. I still fail and imagine I always will, but I am working toward the goal of greater kindness and wiser choices. May the same be said of you.
Paint happens to us all. We splatter. We get splattered. What we choose to do with it makes all the difference in whether the paint mars our lives or becomes part of some greater masterpiece of color.
What can you do with this today? Consider the blue paint splattered around your life. Are you harboring damage-causing bitterness? Have you splattered the lives of those around you? These are questions which should lead you to pray and ask for direction. I’m in a position now where I need to consider some actions of my own. I’ve prayed but still don’t know what steps to take to make amends. In that case I will continue to pray. I want to choose obedience, but since I don’t yet see what that requires of me, I will wait. I do commit, however, to be obedient when the answer comes. I pray you will do the same.
If you have a paint splatter to share, I am always interested in hearing back from you.