It started out like any other Thursday morning. I drove up the hill toward the house of Derek and Angie Terry to meet with Reed Orcutt, our contractor, and to deliver a check. What I didn’t expect was to have a little girl, Derek and Angie’s granddaughter, draw a picture of what love looks like, outside the lines.
We were standing in a sort of a line, a circle, inside the family room, right next to an antique wood burning stove, talking about how to improve the room. The conversation was relaxed and winding down when the Terry’s granddaughter bounced into the room, right up to Angie and reached out to her with a large piece of just-completed-art-work.
Some might call this small girl’s art an abstract style. After all, as I looked at the paper in hand, there was a preprinted outline of a picture, designed to encourage the artist to color inside the lines. Yet, this young artist didn’t see those prepopulated lines as necessary. She simply saw them as a suggestion. This chosen point of view allowed her to color freely, anywhere, anyhow, she desired on the paper. She was living artistically, abstractly, outside the lines.
Her abstract style was colorful and free flowing. It came from her heart! How do I know this? I watched as she bounced up to deliver her piece to her grandmother. I could feel the excitement, the hope oozing from her body. It shined bright in her eyes.
As she stopped in front of Angie, she reached out and looked up, hopefully and expectantly, at the same time. My heart stopped, paused, along with the small girl as we both waited for a response.
“Oh! This is beautiful!” Angie exclaimed as she held the hand-crafted piece in her hands. Then, she reached down and delivered a warm embrace and kiss, to emphasize to her fusion-type reaction.
I’ve seen many sunrises in my lifetime. But, I’ve never seen one brighter than the beam of light that engulfed the room from the eyes of this tiny artist. My heart started to do its job again at the sight. Well, perhaps it was doing its job a little too well, as it felt as if it were about to burst.
“This is what it’s like to live outside the lines of love!” I thought as I gazed upon the sight of an otherwise regular kind of a Thursday morning.
And it caused me to ask myself some questions.
Have I been limiting the way I love other people based on a preprinted outline of a picture designed by others? Have such preconceived notions encouraged me to limit my giving of love to fit within lines dictated by someone else? Or, am I simply seeing such preconceived notions as a suggestion?
Perhaps it’s time for you and me to follow our hearts, guided by the example of a small girl and her grandmother. You and I can choose a point of view that will allow us to color our love freely, anyway we desire. We can love artistically, abstractly. We can love everyone, no matter their age, familial relationships, their dress, their financial status, their beliefs or the color of their hair.
We can choose to love outside the lines!
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.