Good Afternoon, God!
I really love letting children draw — not color in coloring books — just draw! I did a lot of drawing as a child and loved it. I have happy memories of drawing while listening to Captain Midnight, Buck Rogers, The Lone Ranger and others.
How fortunate I am that my mother didn’t buy me Coloring Books! My take is that little girls — who get small muscle control earlier than boys — are “trapped” by their skill in coloring inside the lines. We get praised and rewarded for being so neat and tidy.
The result of all that praise is that ever afterward, females feel they must “keep inside the lines.” Of course, we don’t feel that consciously! But, I think that being good at that “skill” imprisons many of us. Turning us into rule keepers. Turning us into Good Little Girls.
So, God, you can imagine my JOY when I read Father Richard Rohr’s morning devotion: “This is what makes the mystics sort of dangerous,” he says. “It’s not just possibility they [mystics] experience—but permission. It’s permission to color outside the lines.” Right ON! Father Rohr!
Sigh, I’ve harbored the illusion that I was good at coloring outside the lines. Only to find this January 1st that I have a Part that is dedicated to the goal of Make No Mistakes! How humbling! I know You delight in my Humbling Moments, God, but I dislike them! After all, they mean: I’ve been doing something wrong — again!
Smile, actually, what they really mean is: Hurray! I have just discovered that I have been coloring inside the lines! And now I can stop that so I can be a bit more free — a bit more me. Please help me hold on to that re-frame, God!
ah, “neat and tidy” is overrated!