I’m sure by now most of you are aware of the adult coloring book craze that is sweeping the nation. I for one cannot make sense of its appeal. Maybe because I had tough art teachers in the past who reprimanded me for not coloring “in the lines,” and I am afraid of not “doing it right.”
But the theory behind it is that coloring is a creative endeavor and clears our minds of troubling thoughts and sharpens our brains’ abilities in other tasks.
The craze has made inroads into Christian publishing recently with adult coloring books being launched that include religious imagery and Bible verses. The books are presented as a kind of tool to use as a devotional or meditative spiritual outlet. And many are finding that to be so for themselves in their personal faith-walk.
Going a step further, there is a larger trend developing in the publication of Bibles that includes more white space in the margins to allow for drawing, doodling, coloring and note-taking on the Scripture passages on the pages. I do like this idea, because it makes the activity of Bible-reading something that is more personal, more intimate, more tangible, more practical, and less academic and structured and orderly.
Maybe this is more in line with the concept of “digging into” the Word, making it our own and applying it to our life and our circumstances and our mind space today.
The practice reminds me a little of a program we have at my church where family members and friends write notes, draw pictures and underline favorite verses in personalized Bibles that are then given to confirmands at confirmation.
It is a way for the confirmand (and everyone) to see that the Bible is a living, breathing resource that has great meaning and great influence on the individual spiritual lives of so many. It is not a stuffy old book that is put on a shelf in the den never to be opened again. It is a book that can get dog-eared and messy and crinkled and cracked from overuse and being carried everywhere.
I can speak from personal experience that I still use the Bible I received at my confirmation on May 20, 1984, even though the binding in broken, pages are falling out and the edges are torn. It is like a old friend to me each time I use it.
Maybe that is why coloring is such a phenomenon. It makes things special and “our own.” Let’s do all we can to reveal to the world how much the Word of God colors our lives and makes our lives special and makes our relationship with Christ truly personal.