‘Coloring Book’

Terry Walton



I Was Thinking…

Several years ago the Church staff where I was appointed at the time gave me “The Amazing Spider-Man Jumbo Coloring and Activity Book” for my birthday that year.  There was a lot of fun over the gift.  I was amazed at how the feel and smell of this coloring book took me back to my childhood.  It created a desire to go to Target or Wal-Mart and buy a 64 pack of Crayola Colors—the kind with the sharpener in the back of the box. 

I have not yet taken a moment to color or to finish a puzzle in this coloring activity book.  Yet when I pick it up I remember all those fun times of coloring as a child.  Did you do what I used to do?  I would outline the picture first and then color inside the lines.  Or were you one of those kids that received great joy from coloring outside the lines?  I loved to color.  If you were to see my artwork, you would know that drawing is not my gift.  That may explain why coloring what someone else has drawn was such fun.

The smell and feel of this gift had an association effect on me.  I touch or sniff the coloring activity book and my memory goes way back to days gone by.  It has reminded me of how the memory can work.  In this case it is a positive association.  However, sometimes the memory association can be negative and painful.  We can smell or touch or hear or see or taste something and it can take us back to a place that is hurtful and full of heartache.  That is when our memory association becomes a curse rather than a blessing.

Jesus must have known this plight of humanity’s memory when he offered us the example that God heals and forgives in Jesus.  It is not true that “time heals all wounds. If that were the case, then why do I see people who are mature in age yet immature in their forgiveness of sins long ago?  Time is not the healer.  It is God’s grace that heals.  And often it takes a period of time for healing to occur but only because God is doing many things for us as we heal.  It is God who helps us forgive that which we could never believe possible to forgive.  It is God who heals the memory to help our associations move from “life-sapping” to “life-giving”.

May God touch our memories in ways that heal us and bring blessing!  After thinking about the birthday gift of several years ago, I have decided it’s time for me to get to coloring.  I am going to color something this week.  And when I do, I will enjoy the memory.  May it be so for all our memories!

 Always Thinking…

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