Living in the color.

Since I read this recent post by my dear friend Shawna in New York City, I haven't been able to stop thinking about these words...

I want to live in the color. I want to live in the abundance of life that Christ died for me to experience. Why does that feel harder in some seasons than in others? Why does Starbucks make me happy on days that I am not sure I'm going to survive? I know there will always be unfulfilled longings, so I'm searching for that joy that only Jesus can give in any situation until we experience the fullness of life that He intends in Heaven. I know that abundant life isn't about "being" or "doing" anything more or differently. It's simply about abiding in Christ. Being with Him. Experiencing Him. Focusing on Him. Caring only about Him.

The other day I got to reunite with another faraway friend, Lauren.  Her adorable, artsy home in a small town outside of Philadelphia was packed with moving crates, but amongst them was a bright pink gift bag overflowing with black + white polka dotted tissue paper.   She handed it me.  As I peered into the bag, my mouth dropped open - inside was a gift that could not have been more thoughtful - a bouquet of 10 tree bark crayons, each practically the size of a track baton, each one its own work of art. 

"I want to live in the color."

I know my life holds many unfulfilled longings, a plethora of responsibilities and desires that try to draw me away from the heart of God, away from whom He made me to be.  And often, those things succeed. 

There are so many things I wish I could be - less impatient.  Slower to become frustrated.  Logical, at least sometimes.  Slower to let others' moods affect my joy.  More prone to "glass half full" than "glass half empty."

But as Lauren and I sat together on her couch sipping red wine, dipping our toes back into the deep waters of what our friendship was when we lived a few streets - rather than hundreds of miles - away, I could feel myself exhale.  I could feel the color flushing back into my face, my life.  Those colors spilled a simple truth across the sky:

You are not alone.  Someone understands.

That's right, "It's not about 'being' or 'doing' anything more or differently." 

Life is full of tension, but I don't want to stay in the grey place of in-between.  I want to live close to the heart of God, full and whole everyday.  He says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  (Jeremiah 29:13)  So I go out looking, and suddenly there is a burst of golden Black-Eyed Susan in the midst of browns and tans and grays. 

Or, a sunset that lights up the kitchen with an orange glow, urging me to leave dinner sizzling on the stove and grab my camera and run outside for fear of missing a literal rainbow being painted across the sky.

Yes, I think "living in the color" means choosing joy, choosing to be engaged with this life, this one I'm living now. Maybe it means approaching each day with hope and possibility, not permitting darkness to have its way with me.  It means that the light, and the color, always shines brighter.  Because it is there.  Always.

Friends, what does this phrase mean to you?  Really, I would love to know...