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[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. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Amie’s favorite color is blue, and I thought of the soft blue of her eyes as a perfect backdrop of color that would highlight her wood furniture.

“Are you sure about this color?” I asked hoping for a tone of uncertainty. I reminded her that the color would look very different painted on four walls; maybe the same color but a lighter version? No. The neon lime green remained her choice. We bought the supplies and headed home, both of us filled with anticipation of different kinds.

The first swathe of color vibrated on the white wall. Amie smiled. Yes. . .bold and new, just what she wanted. After one coat, the yellow undertone of the lime green distracted her, but she is patient and reserves judgment. I move onto the second coat, and with the first wall completed, the blue tones come through, pushing back the yellow and revealing the true color she envisioned. Amie smiled. Yes. . .bold and new, just what she desired. This new beginning just might be a good step.

Paint colors a space, freshens a room. In the realm of renovation, paint is a cost-effective way of making the old new again. My friend Martha tours our new home and encourages me with the tilt of her head and nods of approval. She accompanies me room by room, seeing the new that would be. We swap stories of painting and agree that the effect is well worth the effort. “Paint is the least expensive way to make a huge difference,” Martha affirms. “Most everyone can add some paint to a wall!” While we were speaking of home decorating, I couldn’t help but think how everyone can be made new in Jesus. It doesn’t even take a trip to the paint store, only a heart willing to open the door of faith and welcome a Savior.

I am two rooms from a whole house transformation. Every room, after the paint dries, comes alive as a new space with a personal mark of distinction. I am drawn to the rooms, I stand in the area and allow my eyes to rest. I know I am smiling. The tiredness of the task melts into the background, and I am energized to begin anew.

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