I think this is one of the most beautiful realizations we come to when we are saved by God’s grace.
I don’t know about you but when God started showing me me, I realized I don’t have any time to worry about competing with other people. I’ve got some serious work to do in my own heart and my own life.
I praise and thank God for His revelation. I am grateful for “eyes to see”.
And I pray to be a better me tomorrow. A kinder, less prideful, less defensive, more courageous, more trusting me.
Writing is difficult. I struggle sometimes. I have a lot of things I want to “say” but sometimes I put boundaries around my work and it suffers. I decide I can’t “go there” or I “shouldn’t” write about certain topics. Even within certain topics, I tiptoe around and I draw arbitrary lines about what is appropriate.
Sometimes I imagine people reading my writing and I cringe at what I think their response will be and I change it. I water down. I avoid hot buttons. I tell only parts of the story.
My son was talking to me the other day about art. He said he hates it when the teachers make the students color inside the lines. He said it’s frustrating because, “Boundaries are not art!”
Boundaries are not art.
Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Can you think of things you’ve read where you just know the author is putting it all out there on the page? Do you know when someone is authentic and raw and real?
Of course you can and you do. That’s why we read. So we can peer into another person’s soul and think, “Wow. You too? I thought it was just me.”
We are told from an early age that there are lines and boundaries and we must create and draw within those lines. We are told that there is an order and a sequence and a way that is acceptable for creating. So of course, I have a lot of that in me since I like to follow the rules. However, it’s the writing or the song or the drawing that breaks out of those boundaries that stops us in our tracks and changes us.
When I was little, I had a babysitter that colored with me. She showed me how to emphasize the lines of the picture by pressing the crayon down hard and going over all of the outlines. Then she showed me how to lightly color in the rest of the picture with a softer touch. I thought that was really cool. Maybe she was testing boundaries by drawing right on the line, challenging the limits.
Maybe we are all just caged birds who want to be free.
That image reminds me of Maya Angelou knowing why the caged bird sings.
It also reminds me of a song I love by the Avett Brothers called Head Full of Doubt.
My favorite line in the song says, “There was a dream. And one day I could see it. Like a bird in a cage, I broke in and demanded that somebody free it.”
I get goosebumps when he sings, “Decide what to be and go be it.”
The song makes me think of my daughter who has always had a challenging time coloring within the lines. She was judged in school for this when she was younger. But as she gets older, she is being recognized as a talented artist. She always has been because she has allowed herself to look at things differently. She has always known boundaries aren’t art.
All it takes is one person to tell a child that there is not only one way to do it. One adult to color with them outside the lines. One person to tell them that boundaries are not art. Let’s be that person for someone, let’s tell them.