I remember doing some paintings as a child, and there were those anxiety-filled moments when I made a wrong stroke by accident and there, in the place where I did not want, a black spot stared right back at me. And I would be frantically trying to cover the black spot with white paint, hoping to cover up the eyesore. With more experience, I came to learn that if I had put a thick enough layer of white paint, the black did eventually "disappear"; no cause for too much worry.
Well, the black did not quite disappear because I could never remove the black paint from where it should not be. All that happened was that the black had been overwhelmed by another colour - white. And indeed, the more white paint, the more the black gave way.
Looking back on the past 8 days of Easter, it might be timely to pause and consider how we have been these days.
People are wishing one another a happy easter, that the joy of our risen Lord will fill all our hearts. Yet, do we really feel this joy? What joy can there be since our problems never did disappear at that Easter Vigil Mass, our challenges and struggles remain as that prominent eyesore staring back at us, difficult people remain difficult, failures continue to remind us of that wrong stroke we have made on the paintings of our lives? What joy are we really wishing one another? What joy are we truly receiving?
Much as I would like life to be perfect like a painting without errors, we all know that life is never perfect. Easter, perhaps, isn't about having all our struggles, sufferings and failures removed so that life becomes a bed of roses. Easter, the celebration of new life, isn't about a new life without worries and troubles. Instead, it is a new life that includes Jesus into this painting. And because He has conquered even death, in Jesus we find the abundance of hope and certainty, the supreme White that overcomes all errors, all black spots, all unwanted strays of the brush. If we allow Jesus to grow in us, although no black spots can be removed, we will experience the joy of Easter, the joy of new life, the joy of Jesus coming to shed His light and His love upon all the darkness in our lives, the joy of Jesus's graces triumphing over all. The white increases till it has all under itself.
But is this enough for us?
Is Jesus' coming into our brokenness really enough for us? Are we contented or is there a space in our hearts that still asks for a perfect life? A convenient and trouble-free life?
Is there really no life in imperfections? That life can only be found in perfections?
If we but remember those times in our life experiences when somehow, the imperfect moments were the very moments brimming with the life that comes from submitting to God's Holy Will... from allowing Him into the blackest spots so that He can overcome them with His brilliant white... from surrendering the mastership of my life into the true Master's hands. Remembering always, too, that God allows black only because He is that mighty power who overcomes all.
Where is God, what is He saying in the blacks of your life?