Sophia smiled as she tweaked the sun-shimmer on a wave with her brush. The oil paint, the canvas, the brush in her hand – she had loved them ever since they first came into her life when she was thirteen years old.
It wasn’t until a month ago that she loved the subject of this painting: Madeline Island rising out of the Superior waves.
On the coffee table nearby sat the book that started it all. Sophia had won the book in a silent-auction gift basket. When she finally cracked the cover, she was delighted. By the end, she knew she had to do one thing. She simply had to visit this place called Madeline Island.
So that’s what she did.
She sat in her car on the ferry – the closest her car would ever get to driving on water – with her bike stashed on the rack. Once on land, she drove past the historic homes and all around the fourteen-mile-long island. She noted the itty-bitty library, the school, and the School of the Arts with its red and white buildings. She biked where she could see sparkling Superior. She snapped photos for later use. Then she returned to LaPoint for ice cream, meandered in and out of shops and even sketched. The sun came and went with the clouds.
Now back at home with her easel and brushes and the island captured on canvas, Sophia smiled. What was it about the book that made her so want to be there – to step into the story? The whimsical, relatable characters? The descriptions of the natural beauty? The heartwarming sayings that she wanted to paint on the walls of her dining room? The meals the characters enjoyed that made her tastebuds dance? Those all had something to do with with it, but…
It had to be the hope that flickered on like the flame of her candle (purchased on the island). Maybe it was also the refreshing reminder that God uses peculiar people to do His work – people who are willing to do the works He has prepared for them.
That’s why she was here, doing this peculiar business of spreading color on canvas. Her work was to capture the beauty of the Master Artist, to inspire others to pause and wonder, to share what she saw so that others might see Whom she sought.
Or something like that. She was a painter after all, not a writer.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” ~I Peter 2:9-10 (KJV)
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)