Eastertide: Day 15
I colored in the picture above close to 15 years ago, way before the current Adult Coloring trend had taken off. It was one of a set of 4 sketched pictures from a color-by-numbers kit. It was my first sustained attempt at a larger coloring project and I like the way it turned out.
The reason I include it here, in this celebration of Eastertide, is that I started coloring it a few days after my father died and I was very sad. I was able to sustain the hours of coloring over several days because I found that it helped with my grief. There was something about the gentle dragging of the colored pencils and the gradual appearance of soft color on a white, blank space, that was helpful and calming. I certainly became a believer in the benefits of coloring that we hear about today, because I know it helped me. (BTW, I'm thrilled with the whole Adult Coloring craze. What a healthy way to rediscover our artistic abilities and produce something beautiful, not to mention supporting the very talented artists who create these designs!)
As the years passed, this drawing took on a different aspect. Instead of remembering the waves of sadness, it slowly became a sign of hope. After all, it shows a watering can overflowing with spring flowers, vibrant greens and beautiful butterflies. All of these are signs of new life, and specifically, signs of the resurrection. The theme of gardening is one of the more beautiful themes that runs through Scripture, and in fact, Mary Magdalene first thought the risen Christ was a gardener - the prophecy became specific and enfleshed in him, in that garden.
Now when I look at this picture, I see a promise. I imagine Jesus' scarred hand holding the handle of the watering can and the water inside is the water that fell from his side, from his heart, pouring out the Holy Spirit onto the earth. This water falls on all of us, and if we respond to it, we will grow into the strong trees, the inspiring flowers, the restful grass - the people we were created to be. Now, when I look at this picture, I think of the future instead of the past, of the day when we will leave this "valley of tears" behind and be reunited with our loved ones in the Garden of Paradise. I have faith that I will see my Dad again. In fact, I hope to see all those I miss who have gone before me, those who died with Jesus and will rise with him. That's the power - and the promise - of Easter.
Although the kit I used is no longer available, you might enjoy one of the kits above.