I usually wait a couple of weeks after a trip to Florida, for a day when I’m really missing my people down there, then I check the pictures on my phone and iPad and see what I find. With a tech-savvy toddler in the house, there is absolutely NO TELLING what could be waiting for me there. Usually, it’s 72 of the same photo in a row, say, of Lilli’s foot, or the top of her head. But I had forgotten that I’d loaded some interactive photobooks with games and puzzles on my iPad this time, and they allow you to color a picture, then take a photo of it, saving it to your photo gallery. That little beauty to the left, there, was left just for me.

It makes me think of her, sitting there in deep concentration, with her little finger “painting” the screen. In fact, I spent a good deal of time wiping her fingerprints off the screen while I was there, just so I could see through it! She would carefully choose her colors, then work on making circles and lines.

I remember seeing her make this other one. photo copyShe was tired of it by this time, and she didn’t even choose a color, but went with the default, quickly and callously throwing her finger across the screen, then, sitting it aside, she walked away.

I look at them now, one carefully done and full of color and life, the other carelessly thrown out there, flat and dull, and think of the way we finger paint on the souls of others. Our fingerprints, indelible, spread either life or death on everything they touch, directed by our own hearts and minds. Whatever we are putting in them, is what will spill out for us to spread onto the paper of the lives of others. Is it colorful and filled with life-giving affirmation, or, um…not? And, really, there are some times we shouldn’t be painting at all. If we’re tired, or upset, or hormonal, for crying out loud, are we really going to be creating any masterpieces?

It’s worth thinking about because once the paint’s on the page, we can’t erase it. It’s saved forever to the gallery of the other person’s mind.

I’m glad for the reminder that we have control over what color paint we store up, and from what frame of mind we apply it. I’d hate to have someone I love keep pulling up a painting with my prints all over it, that left them feeling dark and hollow. Here’s a prayer for all of us that we use only the best colors, finger painting with life and love.


A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:45 NLT

Guard your heart above all else,for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 NLT

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” Hebrews 10:24 ESV