I’ve started a colouring page with Anna lately, as a small project we can work on together.
With all the markers lined up in the middle of the table, we just colour bits at random. We can more clearly see where warm or cold hues should go, as the blank sections are completed.
Doing a detailed page like this requires a bit of time, patience, and thoughtfulness. I work on separate colouring books with Luke as he’s not quite ready to stay in the lines, and Anna was clear that there were to be no scribbles on our special rainbow coloured picture!
Through doing bits of colouring, I have been thinking beyond patterns and geometric shapes towards the community circles of people around us. People from our past, present, and those not yet in our circles of the future.
People from past circles tend to know us quite well through childhood and growing up years. My best friend Britt and I first met at the age of eight and have such a connection that we can pick up conversations wherever we left off. I don’t have to explain details of childhood stories because she was there. Likewise my parents, grandparents, and various friends from church and my schools also make up relationships from my past.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.Proverbs 27:17
In my present circle, my husband Charlie and our children are at the core with lots of little circles coming off of that, including church friends, school mums, and Bible study friends. Two of my close friends moved away over the summer and although it was sad to say goodbye and know doing daily life together wouldn’t be possible anymore, over time it has opened up my eyes to many more people God would like to be part of my circles.
Sometimes we tend to fill in our circles too much and there’s hardly room for others to join in. Practically, I know I can’t be close friends with everyone but certainly there are quite a few people around that I need to invest in more. To be able to have community circles for the future, I need to make sure there’s some open space left in my schedule and heart.
In my life’s colouring page, I want to purposefully leave sections blank so that God can colour them in when He sees fit.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.Hebrews 10:24-25
Who have you done life with in the past?
Who are you doing it with in the present?
And who will you do life with in years to come?
Just like the many rings on a cross section of a Redwood tree show circles for the years of life lived, similarly I think our lives should be represented through the enriching circles of friendship and relationships that God has allowed us to have along our journeys.
Dear God, Thank you for the intricate and complex relationships you allow us to be part of along life’s journey. Thank you for friendships of the past, those of the present, and ones for the future. May we have the grace to be able to blend our circles of past, present, future and look to You as our guide in doing so. Help us not forget the wonderful people who shaped us into who we are today. May we not take for granted the people we are doing life with right now. And may our hearts be expanded and widened to make room for friendships to come, that you desire us to have. As in all areas of life, be our Guide and direct our path in relationships. Help us to not miss opportunities to share life with people you put in our path. We ask that our lives would be rich and intentional as we deepen our walk with You through Jesus, and fill us with your Holy Spirit to build large circles of community. Amen.