It starts with black…
But why does it need to start with black? Why must it start in a place so dark?
DARLING, IT STARTS WITH BLACK.
Ok, it starts with black.
I grab the black tube of paint and squeeze it onto the pallet, dip my brush in the hulking mass, then, hesitantly, push blackened bristles onto virgin paper.
I have never been scared of this colour before.
I wear black almost everyday, it’s the colour I feel most at home in to express myself. I write in only black pen. Many of my journals are black. If there is a choice of colour, I will always - without fail - chose black. I have even used black many, many times in my art before, so why now is it causing me pause?
As I covered this white page totally and completely in black paint, this feeling of helplessness came over me with every stroke. I could feel the Spirit stirring something within me, gently revealing a hidden Truth.
DARLING, IT STARTS WITH BLACK.
Like a bolt of lightning, a string of pictures raced though my mind, and it all made sense.
The earth, before creation, was formless and empty. A void. An earth torn and ravaged by war. A wasteland. It was on this canvas that God brought forth Life. He spoke light and sound, colour, taste, sensations, seasons, Mother Nature, Animals, and Us into being - His beautiful work of art.
The Fall brought us back to black.
Gods work since then has been a re-working of His original design, painting flurries of light and life over the stained black canvas which was His Eden.
But what’s even more incredible is that He does this with us, His beloved children.
Scripture says that we were enemies of God, "dead in our transgressions and sins" [Ephesians 2:1] and trapped in darkness. Our souls were black. My soul was black.
It starts with black.
The Fathers salvation work starts in our mess, in our darkness and blackness of soul.
It is from this canvas He brings forth His life in you, renewing us from the depths of our depravity, re-creating our body, mind and spirit for His Kingdom work.
It is from this darkness He plants His seed - The Holy Spirit - and cultivates it with words of agape love. The Father tenderly watches as we grow day by day, rejoicing when the first fresh green sprouts pop from the darkness. They reach and stretch higher as He waters it with His mercy, and vibrant flowers bloom under His grace. He prunes us as we grow and grow so we can grow even more, until a tall tree with deep roots stands before Him. And then, wildly, beautifully and deliciously, the tree starts to bare fruit - the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
And there the Father stands, with tears of joy and overflowing pride in His eyes, as He watches people from all nations, come and share in the bountiful love of God growing from you.
"Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing."
You see, it may start with black, but from it comes the brilliance of heaven on earth.
My dear friends, The Fathers message to you is this:
My darling children, do not resist the Holy Spirits work in you. Do not be afraid. I have come to bring you life, and life to the full. I know some of you feel trapped in the dark, so much so you can’t even see your hand in front of your face, but my love, it is only the winter, and spiring is just around to corner. Silence the voice telling you that I am not with you with the Truth that I am closer than your breath. Break the chains of fear from your ankles, for I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and love and self control. And so My Darling, I am asking you to partner with Me in trust as we re-work your soul-canvas together. Allow Me to breath abundant and beautiful life into your broken soul, and just watch how you grow.