Discover Chesterton Series: A Paint on the Lord’s Palette: The Uniqueness of Every Human Life
Painting by Chesterton Academy’s art teacher, Mr. Geoff Butz. To view more of his art, visit www.geoffbutzfineart.com. .
In art, a specific color and shade is prepared ahead of time on the palette and mixed together to perfection; so too, we are planned and thought out with such care before being placed upon God’s exquisite masterpiece of creation.
By LAURA DONZE, Junior, Chesterton Academy of Milwaukee
The Discover Chesterton Series offers perspectives from students, parents, and teachers on the culture of life being cultivated at Chesterton Academy of Milwaukee.
A normal lunch time at Chesterton Academy includes fits of laughter, eating, and the occasional last-minute studying among the students. One day, however, the lunch conversation held a bit more meaning. A classmate had proposed a seemingly trivial idea about the relationship between people and colors. This idea carried on into lunch, until eventually quite a few of the students were talking about it. The question eventually became: if you were a color what color would you be?
Some of the answers for this question were: yellow, lavender, etc. Determining a person’s color turned out to be rather tricky, as one could not discern their own color by themselves. Not only that, but one had to find the correct words to express this seemingly simple question. What was striking, though, was that not one student shared the same color. Everyone was unique.
This isn’t just a coincidence, as St. Therese writes in her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, “Every flower He has created has a beauty of its own… so it is in the world of souls, the living garden of the Lord.” Just as one can compare a soul to a flower in the Lord’s garden, one can compare a soul to a paint on the Lord’s palette. We learned in art class that a specific color and shade is prepared ahead of time on the palette and mixed together to perfection; so too, we are planned and thought out with such care before being placed upon God’s exquisite masterpiece of creation, placed among specific colors and made with specific brush strokes—specific people and carefully planned out circumstances.
These “colors” with which we were created live inside us, just waiting to be expressed and allowed to shine forth from us. Our actions are what allow these explosions of life to burst forth, each effecting the others around us and helping the Lord to form his great work. This is our main goal, to participate with God in his work. This goal is reflected in the play Everyman that the students will be performing this year. In this play, the main character, “Everyman,” having been confronted by Death, must find a person to journey with him to meet God. The character of Everyman is shared by multiple students, and though they each have a unique situation to work with and a unique idea of Everyman, there is still one goal in mind. These many colors of Everyman become united to create almost a mini-painting. As Everyman encounters different ideals such as “Fellowship” or “Good Deeds,” he, too, experiences this journey of learning how to make his own color shine and contribute more fully as part of God’s masterpiece.
Each one of us has a beautiful color created by God and placed among other stunning colors. Everything has been prepared; it is our turn to use these colors within us and act according to God’s painting-plan. It is our turn to bring these colors out into the world and to create a breathtaking piece with which no other particular, beautiful thing can be compared.