Life can just seem to go on sometimes, plodding and uneventful. Sometimes though, something will happen. Sometimes those things are joyful, exuberant events and sometimes they are just the opposite. The effects of these events is what makes life interesting, vibrant, something to greet each new day. The big events: a new house, a new job, sometimes even a new dress add a lift to your days. But sometimes that lift is caused by a person. We meet people all the time who come and go and stay and leave. I thought about the people that I know and began to assign colors to them, likening their personalities to a color. Why not? Beats chewing my nails!
Let me explain: some people you meet are like the color fluorescent green—all flash and dance. They can take over a room if you let them. And when they leave, the room is not quite as colorful, but after they've gone it can be more restful. Some people can be more like muted shades of natural things, like the beige of the sand, the pink in a sunset, the green of spring. These people are usually kind of quiet and yet, the color they bring to your world is necessary to the way you see things. They are part of the fabric of our “coming in and going out.” They are the base coat of our lives-- listening, painting alongside of you as you create your painting on the canvas of life.
And then there are people who are blend of the vibrant splash and the understated hue. If you find someone like this, you know you are blessed. If you are friends with someone like this-- your life is more colorful, rich, more—well—more something.
And so I come to my friend we pay to tribute today. This colorful friend was a mix of the splash of humor—that fluorescent green I talked about and the muted hues of understanding and compassion. And he has gone on ahead without me. He left me standing in the middle of the room without a paintbrush or even some paint. BUT—I can hear the color of his laughter and see the gold sparkle of his understanding. I can feel the warmth of his brown bear hugs, even though I will never physically feel them again. And oh, I really hate that. Because he brought so much color to me. So much love and joy and exuberance and even passion for our God and his life, that my paintbox is suddenly devoid of much. And I want it back. I want him back.
We get to go on. We add some more brown or green to our day. We splash a bit of cream into the fluorescent blue of the sky so it will seem not as bright. We hug. And hold hands. We pray and we slowly, slowly see the Master Painter has left us a canvas to keep on painting. To show others the colors that are in the world, even though our friend the giver of color, is not.
But I am so thankful for that colorful man. So very blessed to have had him as a friend and a painter along the way. Rest well, Carl and save a paintbrush for me.