I recently took a trip for work to a conference up in Louisville. Our group rented a house because it’s actually cheaper than a bunch of hotel rooms and it allows for a little bit of culture on your trip.
I am one of those nerdy people who really loves conferences. I bring my own notebook, extra pens, and a ton of expectation. This particular conference is one our team had been to and sadly everything started to feel very “same song, second verse”, nothing against them but my conference mojo took a pretty hard hit.
If I am truly being self aware I know that my hope of some new point of inspiration is what makes me love these type of trips, it’s what makes me love new photo apps, pouring thru blogs daily, not planning where I eat for lunch, just a quip of some breakout from the mundane to keep my mind and heart fresh.
I was beginning to feel that moment lost there in Louisville, until I went to the bathroom were we staying. (Yes I realize the irony)
The bathroom in this cool three-story house was completely covered in chalkboard paint, so that the people that stay there can leave a piece of themselves (yes again I realize the bathroom irony)
Some people leave a poem or a song lyric. Other people leave “Leslie Was Here” or my favorite “Steve is a butt”, but one simple musing caught my eye as I was brushing my teeth the last morning that we were there. Honestly it’s so simple that it could, and may actually be, on a cat poster somewhere, but someone wrote “Broken Crayons Still Color”.
I mean how simple but still such a great truth. Everyone is broken. I am broken. I have to face my own brokenness everyday. I have a ton of kids so that magically reveals to me how I will never be as good as the dad on This Is Us. (that’s a whole other blog) That little phrase reframes my memory of the new story of our adopted kids. I think about the people God used and God is using. That phrase erases my grudges, helps me give grace, helps me take the plank out of my own eye, helps me realize that other people have valid opinions, points, dreams.
All in all in that moment while I was moving from incisors to molars I felt my mind come alive, my heart warm, my soul breathe. If all of the broken crayons still color then there’s still a tomorrow worth living because we are all already out of the box, wrappers half-missing, factory point worn down, and some completely broken, but all still have color to bring.