A pleasant fall day. A family picnic at Northside Park, Wheaton, Illinois. A grandmother and aunt with easels set up, painting the lagoon. That was enough to instill an intense desire in me to be one of the ones with an easel set up. I, too, was going to paint. But, like other childhood dreams, that one receded into the background. It sometimes tried to force itself forward. In recent years I insisted I was going to make it true. I even bought canvases and a paint box, filled with the tools I was going to need. But there it sat in my office closet. I think I was afraid to try because I was afraid to fail. But when a friend a few weeks ago said she was going to take lessons at a local gallery, I jumped in. This time I would learn to paint. Now, four weeks in, I’m doing all right. I think I’ve got a decent start on a painting and all the things I’ve learned over the years are coming together.
I have found that I don’t have to be perfect. (Is there such a thing as perfection?) Art is forgiving. My painting doesn’t have to look exactly like that still life. I can change, add, or adjust. Each layer of paint will cover what is underneath.
I have started thinking about the concept of covering. What is covered and who is doing the covering?
Me! I am trying to cover—my sins. I hate to admit that I am a wicked sinner, so I try to cover my sins, pretend that they don’t exist. I try to convince myself of that lie and I try to put on a good front so that no one else would believe such a horrid thing of me. My attempts of covering are not successful. I know I have not hidden my sins from myself or anyone else. It’s not even smart to try. “He who covers his sins will not prosper.”
Me again! I must confess my sins and ask for them to be blotted out. “According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” “Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.”
But God! “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins.” “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” He has blotted out my sins for His own dear sake. I have heard my grandmother say, “I remember choosing to forget that.” God Himself has chosen to forget. I can trust that.
Paint may cover my mistakes on the canvas, but only God can blot out my sins, can make me clean. Praise the Lord! My sins are blotted out.
~~Faith Himes Lamb
**Proverbs 28:13 **Psalm 51:9 **Isaiah 44:20