Stay Inside the Lines

Sandra From Sandra's Desk, Uncategorized 0 Comments

postal-32383_1280Susan retrieved the parcel from her doorstep and read the return address. Thoughts of her granddaughter warmed her heart. “Wonderful.” She stepped back into the warmth, letting the storm door close itself and shoving the heavy red door closed with her hip.

“Who was it?” Tracy’s voice rasped in her ear. Sunday afternoon cribbage games with her neighbor were almost a ritual.

The latch on the inner door slid home. “Must have been the mailman. Looks like something from Olivia.”

Down the carpeted hall, back to the cozy kitchen, amidst crockpot aromas she stood at the nearest counter. “I hope you don’t mind. I can’t wait to see what new gadget she thinks I need.”

The black-handled knife made it easy to open, revealing a card on top of a wrapped gift. A she-remembered smile took over her face. Her name in calligraphy drew her fingers to trace the letters, Grandma Susan. Years worth of memories encouraging her granddaughter’s creativity filled her eyes with happy tears.

She pushed her attention to the slim package. “Hmmm, wonder what it could be?” She shook it and an item slid back and forth.

“It’s too big for a new deck of cards.” Her friend laughed and moved to the counter to elbow her ribs. “And it’s too thin for that fancy cribbage board I think we need.”

colored-pencils-619469_1280-1“Now, now. Life is about a lot more than cribbage, Girlfriend.” Tearing away part of the delicate covering allowed a smaller box to drop out on to the gray ceramic tiles. “Colored pencils?” She pulled away the rest of the fancy paper. “Coloring books? . . . The Secret Garden and Romeo and Juliet? What’s this about?”

“You mean you haven’t heard about the coloring book craze? It’s supposed to be therapeutic or something.” She tried to take one of the books without success. “Anyway, they’re all over the shops these days.”

“You’re out and about a lot more than I am. I had no idea.” She set the books aside with hesitation and cleared her throat. “Let’s get back to the game. I’m behind and I need to take care of that problem.”


As soon as the kitchen was tidy, Susan turned up the overhead light and carried her gift to the trestle table. The scent of beef stew still hung in the air. The card came first. “Olivia, my dear, you’ve outdone yourself,” she whispered as she dried her eyes with her fabric napkin.

“Well—which shall it be? The Secret Garden to remember our read aloud adventures with Mary Lennox and Colin Craven?” She paused as she held the book aloft then rested her hand on the other title. “Or Romeo and Juliet to reminisce about learning the lines for your starring role? Oh the fun we had.”

coloring-book-for-adults-1396828_1280The treasure hunt idea won and pencils clattered against the worn surface. She surveyed the first image and chose the color green. “Thank you for sharpened points.” An hour passed in a breath with only a bare beginning. Sitting back she stared at the incomplete process in front of her.

“If only life were this easy, to follow the lines all laid out for me. By now I would have something close to this masterpiece filled in.” She laid down the pencil and tilted the pages upward. “Instead I’ve got a helter-skelter drawing where I went outside the lines and even tried to replace some of them by sketching my own.” The book fell to the table as she clasped her hands in prayer.

praying-614374_1280“Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth, I’ve wandered far from the path You laid out for me. How can I ever fix it?”

Her head tipped upward and her eyebrows met. “Wait a minute.” Her mouth puckered. “In His heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.*. . . It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.**

A huff escaped her lips. She picked up a pencil and began tapping on the empty carton. “For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.***” The purple tip touched the paper. “Okay, God. Let’s make some progress on this masterpiece.”

How have you been doing with coloring inside the lines?
Share your responses in the Comments, no word limit this time.

Asking the LORD to bless you as you celebrate the Lamb who came to save.

*Proverbs 16:9
**Philippians 2:13
***Romans 8:28

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