I have spent the last few days painting walls at my new house. I really love to paint the walls with new paint when we buy a house. Over the years I have found it just really helps the house feel like my home. The colors the previous owner had might not be all that bad, but I didn’t choose them. As I paint away old scuffs and scrapes on the walls, I am saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Newly painted walls just feel so fresh and clean. It’s like a new start.
I have a painting shirt that I have had forever. I pull it on whenever it’s time to paint anything. It’s nothing fancy. It’s an old shirt of Matthew’s. It’s denim, button up and comfy. There’s a smudge from every wall I’ve ever painted on it. I can look at that shirt and see the yellow I painted my daughter’s nursery. I can see the red I once chose for my kitchen. I see the green that was my son’s room years ago. There’s a blue smear on the back from when I was painting my second son’s room and backed into the wall accidentally.
Every stage of my adult life is on that shirt. Every house we’ve lived in, every room in which we’ve been a family. I’ve added some more smears this week. There’s some purple now. My daughter chose purple for her room… I’m talking eggplant. Then there’s bright blue now from my youngest son’s new room. I’ll add some more today, no doubt. I am excited for the new memories that this new home will bring to my family. As we have all worked together to turn this house into our home, I am thankful for many already.
We all carry stains and smudges from past experiences. Some good, some not. My shirt is a product of all my house-painting experiences. I have heard it said that we are the sum total of all our life experiences. I suppose that is true. But we are more than that. As followers of Christ we have been made new. Our shirts are clean. Brand new… “smudgless”. We are not held captive any longer by past mistakes. That’s one of the best benefits of being a child of the Father and accepting His grace and mercy. He remakes us. He looks at the sloppy mess we’ve made out of ourselves and washes us clean. And not just once. He’ll do it over and over again. Just like a freshly painted wall with no scuffs or bumps.
I’m off for another day of painting. I am tired, and oh so sore. (It’s been a while since I had to dig out the painting shirt.) But I am energized and looking forward to making new the walls in my house. I hope you will be energized and look forward to how the Lord will make you new today.
Take a minute and listen to my new favorite song… It’s Tenth Avenue North… It’ll be worth your time!