We do a lot of coloring in my first-year Spanish class. It's partly because markers make me happy and partly because my first-year students are learning basic vocabulary that lends itself to association with pictures.
On Monday, I gave my students a primary color wheel, with a few empty circles down on the bottom where they could combine two colors to make a new one.
Amarillo + rojo = anaranjado. (Yellow and red make orange.)
Sometimes it happens that I give students a plain assignment for easy points, but they catch me off guard. That is what happened on Monday.
As I scratched five points on the top of each page, I slowed down and began to smile and then to worship the Lord and smile some more.
Every page was unique.
Some students had colored in the spaces. Some had outlined. Some had used geometric designs. The assignment was a basic design at a kindergarten level, but God's design of my students was not so ordinary. I saw the Lord's own masterful art come through the minds and hands of each person in my class.
Home Depot gave me permission to take one of each of their paint swatches. I taped each of the colored squares together and hung the line of colors on my classroom door. In class, we talked about the 12 primary, secondary and tertiary colors, the few basic hues that combine to make so many different color swatches.
From primary colors came the subtle shire green on my dining room wall and the antique white in my guest bathroom and the latte in my bedroom.
In 1 Corinthians 12:7, Paul tells us this astounding truth:
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for the common good."
This verse falls in the middle of Paul's instruction on spiritual gifts. Every follower of Christ is given a spiritual gift, through which the Spirit of God manifests (reveals) Himself.
When I read that verse, I picture the Lord with a box of markers and a plain person, except when God is done mixing colors, we are not plain any longer. The benefit people receive when we use our spiritual gift, is being able to see a unique picture of who God is.
You have the same Christ in you as I do, but I will see him in a new way because of what he does through your hands of service, just as you see God in a new way when you are on the receiving end of my service to the Lord.
If you are feeling ordinary and of little value, I give you the assignment of going to a paint store with 1 Corinthians 12:7 written on a sticky note in your purse. Look at all the colors that come out of the primary hues. Ask the Lord how He wants to show Himself to the body of Christ in a unique way through your special gifts.
Christy Fitzwater is an author and pastor's wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the author of Blameless: Living A Life Free from Guilt And Shame and My Father's Hands: 52 Reasons to Trust God with Your Heart. Find her devotional writing at christyfitzwater.com.