Dirty hands make beautiful art


While we were visiting Scott’s family last week, our niece Avery was busy creating art with watercolors and pastels.  The boys were intrigued by this “real art” that could be created so quickly in any given space.  They’re used to Scott needing a large table and a good chunk of time to create his oil or acrylic works.   They instantly jumped in, making multiple artistic watercolor prints and pastel drawings.

It was messy.

In the beginning, they were using their hands alone to blend the pastels, as you can see in the image above.  Their hands were so dirty, it was almost debilitating to the creation of their art. Everything they touched would receive a big, blurry handprint.They wanted to just quit and give up.  But as they went on, they learned from Scott and Avery the proper techniques of how to use just one finger, and eventually a tissue or paper towel to do the dirty work for them.

It was such a colorful reminder to me of how we learn.

Often when you first set out to do something meaningful, to create your art in the world, it’s messy.  I mean so messy and dirty that it’s almost debilitating.   Sometimes it even feels like everything you touch gets messy too.  It’s hard to imagine how this thing you’re working on would ever possibly turn into anything worthwhile.  It can be nearly impossible to believe that it’s worth it to keep going.

You may even want to give up and quit trying all together. 

But sometimes all you need is a little more time.  Sometimes you may need to wash your hands and start over with a few new supplies.  Or maybe you just need a guide . . . someone to show you the way things work.  Someone to stand beside you and remind you that you’re on the right path.

Someone to encourage you not to give up. 

I pray there are days I can be that person for you and that we become that person for one another.  That you’ll notice when your sister’s hands are too dirty for her own good.  That you’ll notice when she’s discouraged and about to give up and you’ll step in to remind her she’s on the right path.  That’s what it looks like to help each other “replace the noise and hear love instead”, what HeartStories is all about.

That’s how dirty hands make the most beautiful art.  

to more love,


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