Tuesday, November 15, 2011

before we knew better

Lincoln is a master artist. He's really, truly innovative and free. No one has told him about the rules yet. He doesn't know about what the world considers beautiful or ugly. He's not bothered when the paint spills off the page or when a color bleeds into another. He's just purely caught up in the wonder of his creations.

Remember those days before we knew better? Maybe getting back to this is the highest form of praise. I wonder if this isn't a picture of God at the moment of creation, playing with colors and textures and light, caught up in the wonder of the things he loves.


  1. Hi Terri. I hope that you got the e-mail that I sent by Nathan. Your blog title and concept brought back a fond memory of my little client David. "Before we knew better."

    One afternoon I was on my way to David's for the weekend and it was pouring down rain......I mean a flooding type rain. As I pulled into the driveway, I thought, oh Lord, I do not want to get out of my car. And of course, me being the quick-thinking, whipper snapper that I am, parked the car under the guttering.

    I look up and here comes little David out the back door with an umbrella. He had been watching for me. I almost cried. That touched my heart so much. And the main reason is because society LEARNS etiquette, but David, having a handicap, did not so much learn these things.......they flowed from the heart, not knowledge. You have prob heard this story and I am repeating myself. I think I wrote a blog post about this.

    The story goes on to take a little twist. David proceeds to open the umbrella underneath his back porch and I step out of the car about the time David tries to hand me a stuck in the screen door umbrella. And me, being keenly aware of my surroundings, am standing underneath a pouring guttering. I got so drenched that I had to change clothes. This story still makes me laugh and cry.

    There is something about God that loves child-likeness. He loves an unpremeditated heart when we are not trying to love Him......we just "accidentally" do.

    There is a point to the story though. You touched on this at the end of your post. I wonder, like your little grandson, how many times God looks down at us all covered in paint and messy while we run to Him with smudges and blobs that we made, but He lovingly says, "How pretty. I will hang it on my fridge." ........Of course God has a fridge. Where else would He hang all of His kid's pictures?

    Sometimes I look up at God and say, "All I have to give You are smudges and blobs."

    But, when He finds where I have taken my crayolas and painted stick people on the wall I am going to say Nathan did it.

  2. Hi Tammy,

    Yes I did get the note, but I wasn't clear whether you wanted me to respond via email. It sounded like you just wanted to do it over the blog. Let me know if I misunderstood that.

    I love your David stories. It is so clear that you loved him and miss him terribly. I hope that part of you is beginning to heal.

    I also loved what you said about God looking down at our smudges and blobs and loving them so much he hangs them on his fridge. That made me smile.

    I'm glad you're reemerging again. And about what you asked me about in your note: no worries. nobody was ever offended. Peace...

  3. This is so beautiful. I hate to use a word so overused, but beautiful is exactly fitting for what this is.

    James and I have been talking about how we want to parent Austen (and any other children we have). This "before we knew better" stuff is on our list, for sure. We both had plenty of experiences growing up where we colored outside the lines and consequently learned that such a thing wasn't acceptable.

    I love that no one is editing Lincoln, and looking at that picture of him, soaking in your description of him, I wonder what it would be like to create without the voices of editors and judges in our heads -- let the paint spill and blobs form -- just create with childlike abandon.

    My heart is filled to think of it.

  4. Kirsten: Austen is a very lucky little girl to have both a mother and a father with intentions like yours. What fun she'll have as she explores the world around her. I can almost see her now, paint smudges on her chubby fingers and on her nose. My heart is full thinking of it too.

  5. Terri, is that a little leftie there? Oh joy! I think we still don't "know better" in our dreams, and in our hearts.

  6. yes marcell. seems like he's gonna be a leftie. and aren't those the sweetest dreams, when we go back to the innocent places?

  7. wow. totally lincoln. love it!