top of page

[Homeword] We can all be made new

Nothing says a fresh start like a new coat of paint. The transformation is almost immediate, and the result is satisfying almost beyond imagination. I speak from experience. I have painted my share of rooms, and possibly a few other people’s shares as well. I have never moved into a brand new house; paint has been my method of making a space our own – brand new, fresh. I am at it again. . .

Excitement mingles with anticipation as I pry open the can. The familiar smell springs forth as I stir the glossy contents. Color spills into my roller pan as I tip the paint can. The moment comes – carefully, I load the roller with paint. One, two, three swooshes into the pan and back, and then to the wall. I like choosing a broad open wall to start the process, and I boldly make my “x” patterns up and down the space, applying just the right pressure to reveal the subtle sheen of the eggshell-finish.

And, just like magic, the room becomes new. That first application of color spurs me on as I wield my roller and dip time and again into the pan, engulfed by the fresh paint smell, rolling up the wall and then down, transforming the house wall by wall and room by room into something, yes, brand new. Although it is exhausting physically, I do not get tired of the sensation, the thrill of making a house a home.

Scripture teaches that at the appropriate time, the Lord God brushes away the old: “The old has gone, the new life is here!” My visual to this message imagines the old wall of my self covered by the brush of the Spirit. In an instant, I am made new, a revelation of God’s artistry.

This time, in this new space, I am choosing the palette. There have been those other times when one of my children needed the hope of a fresh start in a strange place, and I helped make that reality by painting her room in her choice of color. Amie and I stand in front of walls of paint color chips at the store on Randolph Street. It is a morning in late June the summer before her freshman year of high school. She had chosen some electives and locked down a schedule at her new school in a new state. She had visited new malls and shopping centers with her parents and sisters, picking out some outfits and accessories to add to her closet in the new room she had chosen in her North Carolina house far from the family’s familiar Louisiana home. Amie is my adventurous daughter, but this move stretched her spirit in all its newness. Our trip to the paint store was my way of helping her catch a vision of newness; she could recreate her space, making it her own.

She chose a bright, almost neon, lime green