No paint for Him

I tend to be a perfectionist, and writing often takes me a very long time. I agonize over each word, reading and rereading to make it all just right. And then am still not happy with it.  

Last week Gypsy Mama challenged fellow bloggers to spend just five minutes writing and see what happened. SCARY. I didn't bite.

But yesterday, as I worked on the farm with plenty of time to ponder the frustrating consequences of my perfectionism, I decided I was going to make myself do it. Like it or not. Because it was good for me.


We are standing in the field, paintbrushes in hand, dripping white on the brown grass.  The brooder stands whitish grey, black in spots from the fire last winter.

Money and time prevent a brand new build, so we do what we can.  I have drilled and nailed and screwed the burnt away parts closed, and now 75 balls of yellow fluff await their new home.

We swish the wet brushes across the gray surface, shining white streaks cleaning wood.

It looks so pretty, I think.  How easy this, to make it look fresh and new, with just a little paint outside.

Yet inside is still black, still burned.

My heart drops.  How like this our world is.  How we try to wipe away the pain and the hurts and the bad by making the outs look pretty.  We whiten up the darkness within.

Yet waiting, there is eaten away wood, black, crumbling inside.

We didn't have time to make things right the way right should be... build from scratch start over make it new.

But my God, my Jesus, He is the carpenter.  That's his business.  No paint for Him.  No.

Tears down, builds up, starts fresh.  Good from the inside out.

He makes all things new.



  1. Oh wonderful! This is just wonderful! I'm so glad you could step out of your perfectionism for a bit to breathe and write this - because it's perfect just the way it is!

    "We didn't have time to make things right the way right should be... build from scratch start over make it new."

    Often that's life, writing, family, the every day of every day.

    And that's what makes it all such a treasure, isn't it?

    Thanks so much for stepping out of your comfort zone and sharing with us! It was a treasure to read!


  2. What an absolutely beautiful post!!! I found you over a a Life Lived Fully. I am so glad I popped over to read your post today and am looking forward to following. I too am a Christian and I love reading posts inspired by our awesome Jesus. Thank you for being a pen in His hand.

  3. Oh my! That was a profound five minutes. Thank you!

  4. Lisa-Jo ~ thank you so much for sharing this idea to write for just five minutes. I was surprised by how fast the words poured out when I had to be open to them.

    Janine ~ thank you for your kind words of encouragement! I took a quick peek at your blog... love the name! "Love in Action" YES! I used those very words in the description of the Joy Sprinkling Challenge, up there on the top right. It sums up how we are to live, doesn't it?

    Sandy ~ it was absolutely crazy. I set the timer and didn't let myself edit anything except typos. I need to focus like this more often... much more efficient way of writing! Of course, I have been driving myself nuts all day today over one sentence - "Good from the inside out". If I had edited, I would definitely have hit that sentence first because it not only doesn't properly convey what I meant, it also could be interpreted in a way that is downright poor theology! Guess what Monday's post is going to be about? ;-)

  5. "....we do what we can..."

    Isn't that how life is sometimes? I love the pictures that you shared! I also love your Joy Sprinkle idea....wonderful!

  6. Beautifully said and written! So impressed with what you can do in 5 minutes!

    Btw, when I read "good from the inside out" I took it to mean He doesn't just make up "appear" righteous or put a facade over us, He cleans us thoroughly, purifies us from all unrighteousness and justifies us... But a post on it would be a joy to read! :)

  7. Thank you for your writing! It's beautiful just as it is. Thank you for reminding me that Jesus rebuilds things from the ground up - all new. All new.

    - Hilary

  8. Writing is what keeps us from leaking out sideways is what I tell myself. Words bring freedom. Good for you for letting go and just letting the words lead you...and my,where they led you.

    How beautiful you grafted the messiness of the quilt of true, we spend so much time trying to cover up our deepest wounds with mere "pretty" band-aids. Meanwhile, we are internally dying a slow death.

    beautiful.beautiful words. keep it up,sista.

  9. Oh good, SomeGirl, that is exactly what I meant. I am glad it was clear. I was concerned it might be understood as "Christians are just perfect, inside and out." Which of course is not true - only His grace, His breaking us down and working on our insides first, gives us any hope of growing toward good. But never on our own. Sinners redeemed by grace, yes?


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