One afternoon in kindergarten a classmate picked up the red crayon on our table just as I was reaching for it. Uncharacteristically (I was one of the quiet kids), I protested rather sharply. I don’t remember what I said or whether I snatched the crayon but I know my thought was: How dare she? I need it! Anyone could have clearly seen that I absolutely needed to have the red to complete my drawing!
Despite this intense approach to colour and art when I was little, I studied science in college and eventually became a writer. Pablo Picasso probably had people like me in mind when he said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” This statement resonates so much with me that I used it in the introduction of my devotional book, Restore My Soul, a book that features some of my first attempts—as an adult—at drawing colouring pages, bringing me full circle back to those days in kindergarten over four decades ago.
The popularity of colouring books peaked a few years ago but is still going strong. For some, it was the latest craze they wanted to be part of, but for many others, colouring touches a place deep inside them.
Colouring has at least five benefits (which I explain in more detail in this Crosswalk article):
- It helps us destress.
- It's meditative.
- It uses both sides of our brains.
- It transports us back to our childhood.
- It sparks creativity.
In case you need it, I want to give you permission to embrace your inner child-artist in the days ahead. Jump in puddles. Catch frogs. Blow bubbles. Make up silly songs. Colour!
Below I share some fresh approaches to colouring. For those who are not interested in colouring (but also for those who are), I offer you this challenge: Each day this week, pay attention to one colour of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) and look for beautiful things in that colour. Or choose your favourite colour to focus on all week. Take photos, write happy thoughts, find foods to enjoy in those colours, or simply take time to thank God for the beautiful gift of colour every time you find yourself enjoying one. Make a point of celebrating the "music" colour brings to your eyes!
By the way, my favourite colour is still red. :)
P.S. Here's a short meditation that further celebrates God's creation of colour.