Some of you know I have been doing a creative writing exercise, in which I am daily given an assignment to write about a random subject that they just throw at me. The purpose is to develop the skill of writing on demand and writing to meet the needs of others. One day the assignment was to choose a favorite childhood book and write about it. My mind immediately went to the children’s book “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson.
What would it be like to be able to create up my own world just by using a crayon and my own imagination?
Harold, in this captivating story, lived in such a magical place. He was able to bring to life anything or anyone he wanted just by drawing it. He could draw a ladder going down from his bedroom window and then use it to escape the confines of his home. Out exploring in his magical world, he could draw the weather he wanted to experience–snow, rain, sunshine, whatever his heart desired. (He desired a moonlight walk, but there was no moon, so he drew one to light his way.) Then he could draw a new path to explore and set off happily down it with his purple crayon. How I would love to be able to do that! If Harold encountered something scary or dangerous along the trail, he could draw something to solve the problem. A snarling dog coming toward him? No problem! Just draw a cage around it! If he was feeling lonesome, he could draw a friend to walk with him and talk with him. If he got lost, he could draw a GPS (or map, back in those days) with which to find his way home. When hunger pangs rose up, he could draw a favorite snack, plus a table and chair at which to sit and enjoy it. Later in the day when his legs were tired from all that walking, he could envision a taxi all ready to take him home, and a nice warm bubble bath to relax in after all his adventures before crawling back into bed. As a child I loved to climb into this neat little imaginary world with Harold and make sure that all of my stories had perfect happy endings.
Let’s take this a step further!
What, or Who, is the Purple Crayon in my life? A first read-through of this delightful children’s book suggests rightly that the Purple Crayon is Harold’s imagination. It is a well known fact that if you can instill a love of reading into the heart of a young child, it will carry him all the way down the pathway of life into a world far beyond himself. There is no limit to the places he may visit, the philosophies he may explore, or the beauty he may behold. There are no limits on where he can go, what he can do, who he can become. The things he discovers about others who have lived life before him will mold his own future as they influence his thinking.
So in that sense, I do have that magical ability–and I have just now been using it! I can enjoy a world of my choosing by creative reading and creative writing!
All the more is this true if I dedicate my creative writing and my imagination to the Lord Jesus Christ! What an incredible adventure!
We have something much more valuable than a purple crayon to rely on.
Prayer is my Purple Crayon!
The Lord Himself is my Purple Crayon!
As I write this, our dear Peggy is undergoing very serious back surgery. How I would love to just be able to draw a picture of her standing straight and tall and even dancing! And it would magically be so!
But in our hands we hold an infinitely more powerful tool.
In Christ, all things are possible! He has already DRAWN a lovely PICTURE of Peggy perfectly whole and well! He has DRAWN OUT a plan for her life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
We all want our loved ones to have THE BEST. If we could, we would let our imaginations soar with all the possibilities and DRAW a very beautiful detailed scenario for them to live in–and we would gladly live in it with them. But our best surges of sanctified imagination cannot begin to DRAW UP what is in the heart of God!
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Isaiah 64:4
So, as much as I enjoy the thought of using the purple crayon to design a perfect life, I will gladly exchange it for the heart and mind of Christ and His plan for my life.
Will you pray with me?
“Lord, together we lift our spirits to You and we hand You all of ourselves-our dreams, hopes and imaginations. We hand You our purple crayon. We exchange it for the gift You have given us that is FAR beyond what we could draw with our purple crayon. We accept You as Lord of our lives, and we purpose to follow the perfect plan that You have DRAWN OUT for our lives, and the lives of those we love. We hold our dear ones, especially I think of Peggy today, up to You, trusting that everything You design is GOOD, and we can totally trust the future to Your hands. We DRAW UP Your promises into our spirits and we walk in them today!
In Jesus’ name. Amen.”