Since I am travelling I don’t have time for my normal Storm Survival post…and it is a day late. 🙂 But I am going to write a quick review of the book that has been the biggest inspiration for me walking through this season. I first read this book, Colors of Hope by Richard Dahlstrom in December of 2011. (You can check it out in more detail here) It was at a time in my life when things were pretty “easy”. I was working in Europe…we were traveling when we wanted to…living an expat life can be lonely and isolating but all things considered it was good. However, everything felt a bit empty. It is hard to describe. I could do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it but I wasn’t investing anywhere and without that life was pretty selfish and seemed to lack direction.
This book is a call for Christians to be artists in this world…to paint our lives with the gifts God has given us and to truly share mercy, justice and love with the people around us. Artists! People who create beauty. People who share real hope for redemption and transformation. It was as if something in my heart was waking up and my eyes shifted from myself to actively looking for ways I could paint beauty on this world. I was inspired.
THEN came cancer…do I still want to be an artist with hope knowing now how much I can’t control? Yes. Absolutely. And the door opened with this little ‘ol blog to share my thoughts along the way.
THEN the chasm went deeper with a marriage crisis and separation…Crap, do I still want to be an artist with mercy and forgiveness when that seems like the last thing I want? Gulp…harder…but again YES. Absolutely.
This book and this year have transformed my heart and my faith. The colors we, as Christians, are asked to paint with are not trivial. They can be hard choices. But there is real hope and redemption in the suffering. I just re read this book through the lens of all the securities that were stripped out of my life…and the words still pierced my heart…in fact I read them with more urgency. Through all the hardships I have felt more freedom, more joy, more love than ever in my life and honestly I can’t help but share. Not to convince people of a path but to be authentic and let people judge for themselves if it is true. Because no one will believe that Christianity is good news until it is at least different news.