News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 12, 2013

THE JOY LADY: You can learn a lot from a box of crayons

Verna Davis
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Denis Omar is a handsome third-grader in Ocotillo, Honduras. The last time I was in his home, his colored chalk drawings decorated the concrete block walls. His mother said when she got tired of one drawing, she’d wash the wall and have Denis draw another.

When I got home, I bought some art supplies to send to budding-artist Denis. That made me remember that as kids, we lusted after that big box of 64 colors? You remember how that box of 64 crayons could evoke jealousy in our peers who were shamefacedly holding a smaller box. Yep, that box of 64 crayons, the one we all coveted, was the one that shouted: “My parents spoil me and I love it.” The box of 64 crayons was indeed the mecca of crayondom.

So, nothing but the best for Denis, I reached for the last box of 64 crayons on the shelf and discovered next to it a big box of crayons: 96 crayons! I bought it as quickly as a crayon-deprived adult could do.

At home, I couldn’t wait to open the box. Ninety-six colored crayon soldiers, sharp, pristine, and standing at attention. Need red? How about brick red, magenta, scarlet or wild strawberry? Is that flower pink? Or is it metallic pink, shocking pink or tickle-me pink? Is the sky blue? Or is it blizzard blue, cadet blue, midnight blue, pacific blue or robin’s egg blue?

Crayons are about color. Science says that color is made from the amount of light that is reflected off the object. After even one use, some of the crayons are sharp, some dull. Some have plain names, some fancy names. Even if they are broken, crayons still do what they created to do: make color. Not one of those crayons spoke critically or was jealous of another color. And the best thing about all those crayons is that they co-exist quite peaceably in the same box.

Church is not about the building, it’s about the people inside the building. People in the church should be like crayons. We should be standing at attention, waiting to see what God has in store for us. We should realize that some people in the church come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Like crayons, people in the church should reflect light. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus tells us, “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Do our churches resemble a box of crayons with all kinds of people coming together for the purpose of providing color and reflecting light? Do we co-exist quite peaceably in the same building? Are we jealous or critical of others in our church?

So, I bought another box of crayons for Denis. I’m keeping this big box of 96 colors for me. It’s a reminder that I can learn a lot from a box of crayons.

P.S. Thanks to that faithful Tribune-Star reader who asked me to “revisit” this column. Keep those emails coming.



Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.