There are times when I’m blown away by the love and grace of believers, then there are other times, well… I suppose I must remind myself that we are all a work in progress with a bit of Adam lingering. And I must also remind myself that there are times, way more than I’d like to admit, when my words and actions reflect anything but grace.
And when they do, when I’m tempted to see the rain instead of the beautiful rainbow God stretches against the sky, may I remember this poem, posted over an email loop by a sweet friend and sister in Christ, Ane Mulligan. (Most of you probably know her for her roll-on-the-floor-laugh-out-loud humor, but I suspect even amidst your giggles you’ve caught a glimpse of her Christ-infused heart.)
As you read her poem, I encourage you to see yourself in it. And the next time you’re tempted to quibble over paint, or procedure changes, or music styles, or any of the other majorly important detail sin life (eye roll) remember this poem, this steeple, and the God who sees it all.
Paint on the Wall By Matt Tullos (C) Matt Tullos
There was a church upon a hill,
Where everything was fine until
The paint inside was getting old
And peeling in some spots, I’m told.
And after the preliminary greeting
The Deacons cried, Come one, come all.
What color should we paint the wall?
They gathered in the sanctuary
Each determined and contrary.
Sister Gayle said, What do you think
About a nice chartreuse pink?
Brother Dave said to the crowd,
Isn’t that a bit too loud?
I prefer a subtle blue,
It makes the walls look clean and new.
Six women rebuked, We want gold.
It seems much warmer, blue’s too cold!
I’m here more than all of you.
I agree with Brother Dave. Let’s paint the walls blue.
A man in the back began to bellow,
Yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow!!!!!
From that point on their voices grew stronger.
Each emotional plea became longer and longer.
Then strongly and sternly, a VOICE of great love,
Silenced the church as it spoke from above.
You wonder why you can’t hear My call
When your greatest struggle is paint on the wall.
Paint your church the pale color of skin
For you let no other races come in.
Paint your church a wealthy green,
For you ignore the starvation you’ve seen.
Paint it white and clean as uncalloused feet,
For you refuse to share My joy in the street.
I agree your church could be painted blue,
For your hearts so cold are given to few.
You give many renditions of church as a game
But you fail to water in My holy name.
You pray using eloquent ‘Thees and Thous’,
And yet you forget about the ‘heres and nows’
You struggle to be an earthly saint,
But My love must not be covered in paint.