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253 || The Day I Realized I Was Thankful For Paint

Look around the room you’re in right now. I don’t care if it’s your house, your workplace, school, a coffee shop or the doctor’s office. Are the walls painted?

Chances are, every wall in the room is painted. The paint might be chipped. The walls might need a fresh coat. But I bet all the walls are painted.

Painting Lessons

I was talking with a dear friend just a few days ago, and she told me about her 12-year-old son’s most recent revelation. Most people don’t expect too many life revelations out of someone so young, but his thoughts hit me hard.

He recently went to Memphis, Tennessee, on a mission trip — not far, not a third world country, right here in America. But my friend had tears in her eyes as she spoke proudly about her son.

He had been on the construction crew while others worked directly with the less fortunate kids. At first, he was bummed that he wouldn’t be working directly with people. I find similar feelings in myself — if I’m not speaking with someone and watching their reaction from my service, I feel like I haven’t done anything worthwhile, like I haven’t touched a life.

She said when he returned and stood up at church to talk about his trip, he said a lot of really moving things. He had really grasped what the trip was all about.

But what stood out to me the most was that he said, “I never knew paint meant so much.” The kids had gotten so excited that they now had painted walls — thanks to that construction crew.

Counting My Walls 

And that’s when it hit me: All the walls in my house are painted. They always have been, and I have never once thought about it nor have I ever appreciated it.

I have certainly wished for more. All the time, all too often I think, “What if I had a house like that, a car like that, clothes like that …” The list goes on and on and on.

But these kids were jumping up and down with genuine happiness because there was a coat of paint on their walls. And a 12-year-old had really understood how much of a difference he made to those kids with just a little bit of paint. And not just the paint, but the time and love and work was what made the difference.

I was touched.

When I went home that night after talking with my friend, I didn’t think one time about how I wish I had a bigger television or new clothes in my closet. I took a good, hard look at every wall in my room before I went to sleep. I smiled and thanked God for my painted walls and went to sleep more peacefully than I have in a while.

Man, God sure did a good paint job on my life! He’s quite the artist. And the least I can do is pass that along and paint someone else’s world.

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