What if someone paints over our work?

We just moved into a new house. Like, on Friday. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you’ve seen all my up and down emotions about our transition to Minnesota. Transitions, even if they’re really good ones, are difficult.

After more than a month of living with family, it feels amazing to be back in our own place. It feels especially amazing because we snagged such an awesome house.

One of the rooms that grabbed our attention right away was a kid’s room. The bright yellow walls could be off-putting if not for what was on them: beautifully painted murals of Curious George. On one wall, he is riding on the back of an elephant. On another, he is hanging from a tree. On the back of the door, he is walking away, ready to have more adventures in other places.

Most of the rooms in the house are in flux, half-unpacked as we decide what to do with the space. The Curious George room is the only exception. It is done. The decision was easy.

Curious George beckons my boys to adventures in their new playroom.

One day, my boys will grow older, and we will paint the walls. But right now, in our stage of life, this room is a gift. Curious George will weave his way into my boy’s memories of their childhoods, inviting them to hang on trees and look for adventure.

At the closing for the house, we found out one of the sellers was an art teacher. We complimented her on her work, and told her how excited we were to use the room as a play space.

Her relief and excitement lit up the room. She said she assumed whoever bought the house would paint over the murals. When she learned that her work would last even a little while after she left, her joy was tangible.

It makes sense that she would feel this way. Isn’t this our desire too?

We all want our work to extend beyond ourselves.

That’s part of what draws us to creating. We invite others to see what has only existed before inside our imaginations. We make a dream into tangible art that others can experience with us.

This dream made material comes with a fear.

Now that it exists, how long until it disappears? What if it is rejected? What if something happens to it? What if someone else paints over our work?

Ultimately, like the art teacher who painted Curious George on the walls of my child’s room, we don’t have control over how our work will be received. But, also like her, that should not stop us from creating.

We can lose ourselves in the wonder of making our imaginations come to life. We can create works that impact those within our sphere of influence. And if we find out our work will reach beyond what we hoped, we can let that bring us an extra dose of joy.

There are no Bible verses that I know of about controlling what happens to our work. We are not God. That is outside of our power and control.

What there are verses about is being good stewards of what God has given us. I believe that includes our imaginations. Each of us has the gift of creativity. Though we may do different things with it according to our other gifts, it is there. It is part of how we bear the image of the Creator.

Let’s let go of a little more of the fear, and hold on to a little more of the wonder. Create something today.

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