Coloring Outside the Lines

In my musings by Antwuan Malone

it’s amazing what you can hear in silence.

no radio. not today. i’d decided yes to the notion of a drive home in complete silence. and as i did, the funniest thing popped into my head. a picture. well, a drawing my daughter made me of a rainbow. on it, someone else had drawn it perfectly. but she, being four and all, took her markers and created her masterpiece by defying the lines. her colors: red, yellow, purple, blue, green, brown followed the arc, but was colored outside the lines.

i remember the day she gave it to me. proud, beaming with a full chest and an anticipatory look. she knew i’d love it. and i did. how could i not. she clearly meant so well. the lines didn’t matter, it was a piece of art in its imperfection.

after those images floated about in my head, i realized that GOD and us are that way. isn’t it so like us to present him with such imperfect gifts. he’d laid before us the lines to draw in, but we can’t seem to quarantine our efforts between them. we color our lives outside the lines. we color our praise, our worship, our love for him and others, outside the lines.

and yet, because of his grace, it is still beautiful to him. it is a sweet smelling savor. oh the gift of grace! the gift of GOD.

the bible says our righteousness is as filthy rags, but grace says, “who cares?” the bible say there is none righteous, and yet we are royal priests. the bible says we deserve separation from GOD; death. but the bible says that through his grace we can have life.

so color away. sometimes inside the lines, sometimes out, and know that GOD will honor your love for him over your imperfect expressions of that love.

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Antwuan Malone is a Ministry Director at ELEVATE Young Adult Ministry ( where empowers young adults toward Christian leadership. He is passionate about seeing young adults take their place in church history by drawing near enough to God to hear his call on their life, and courageously living in obedience to that call.