How Big Is God’s Paintbrush?

An illustration of a creative God painting the clouds (kind of).

The other day I took a stroll to the docks–the wharf, as the elegant call it. Elegant it seemed: the demographic was older, refined, with each–usually a couple–getting in their leisurely exercise like we youth should be doing.

Perhaps the locals were on their way to a semi-casual dinner at a crab-serving restaurant (I can’t recall the name, and I’m too cheap to buy a plate there).

I found it serene, almost; but the experience was also strangely speckled with sorrow. Not of other-sorrow, but my own.

I saw….

  • Families being active and gregarious, like paddling kayaks with each other.
  • A man endeared by the sun as he lay shoe-less on the grass abutting the pier.
  • One couple with a handicapped son in a wheelchair next to them, who flashed their thankful smiles as I passed.
  • The grooviest of vans, adorned by chromatic rocks glued everywhere. I believe he was a time-traveling evangelist.

All of these sights tugged at my heart, each with its own force, its own associative memory-box. Each triggered a nostalgic moment that lives only in my head.

As I was walking back to my car around the circuit of paths surrounding the bay, I saw a sight more sightly than ever.

I saw the clouds.

The clouds looked both opaque and translucent, as if a magician’s hand had graced them, leaving fingerprints of majesty that couldn’t be erased.

Like the friend’s arm around your shoulder in a time of fragile emotion, so this sky was warming to my heart.

It drew me to deep wonder…

How big is God’s paintbrush?

The kid in me–the person who will never be a mature adult so long as my eyes dilate at the size of our unfathomable universe, laughed.

What kind of heresy is that, Jordan? That’s personifying God.

God doesn’t have hands to paint the skies. He just did it with his voice.

But I don’t think so.

I believe there’s a deep, insatiable curiosity within us each time we look at mystery–each time we remember that our frame, our desires, our intellect, and our compassion is mirrored by a person.

It has to be, for our hearts are wells that have to be filled by another heart.

How long did it take to paint?

Time is as bizarre to us as it must be to God. It doesn’t make sense.

There’s A-theory and B-theory in time, depending on how linear you believe time is.

Metaphysics aside, I’m sure God “spent his time” moving his paintbrush with a grin wider than our oceans.

Kind of like me–go figure, as my pangs of writer’s block are alleviated with each successful line typed. It’s a type of caressing of the soul to spend your time doing what God created in you to do.

I can imagine a burly, soft, iridescent hand at sunset before the sun set stage:

  • Left to right.
  • An upstroke, an oblique stroke.
  • A pause. An oddly beguiling smile.
  • A divine satisfaction of what is and is to come.

We can only imagine the time, care, and joy spent in each stroke, each brush of creative power.

In our eyes it is magic. In his eyes, a work of art.

See, we are the work of art–except instead of being painted upon a blue, expansive canvas, we are painted by the [blood red] love of Christ.

In each of us lives a speckle of divinity: this ability to create art with our lives.

And I’m not talking about paint, brushes, pencils, and paper.

It is the very ongoing of our lives that paints this world, with colors of ancient, wildly-mutating love.

When God said “It is finished,” I believe he was talking about his paintbrush, not us.

We, you see… We are just beginning.