One of the hot topics among women these days is coloring books. There has been an explosion of coloring books designed for adults available online and in bookstores. It is a great joy for me because I have been coloring for most of my life. As a child I loved a color book that featured kids from the Mickey Mouse Club (a tv show that first aired in 1955). I also remember a Barbie coloring book that allowed me to color my journey with her to exotic places like New York and Paris. Like everyone else, at some point I got the message that I was “too old” to color, so my coloring was restricted to those times when I could join younger children. Then, one day as an adult, I noticed a coloring book with stained glass designs. It was intended for children, but I bought it for myself. I learned to look for coloring books at museum gift shops and places that catered to tourists. Whenever I traveled by plane, I took one of my books and box of crayons. I got some very strange looks, but no one said anything. Since they were strangers, I didn’t care if they knew about my secret hobby. One day I was leading a lock-in for the youth group. I couldn’t imagine how I would stay up all night unless I had something fun to do, so, of course, I brought my book and crayons and markers. It wasn’t long before the whole youth group joined me and they were talking about much they missed coloring. Then I took my crayons to the nursing homes and senior centers and discovered that they, also, missed being able to color.
I imagine that some of the people caught up in the current color trend will soon tire of it, but I am glad that people no longer feel embarrassed about an activity that reduces stress. I am not entirely sure why it helps me, but I do think that children know a path to joy that we sometimes forget in our adulthood. Jesus talked about receiving the kingdom like a little child. There’s a part of me that wonders if coloring connects me to the childlike openness to creativity. The Bible begins by telling us that God is the creator of everything. I believe that when we create something, we are in touch with that part of the Divine. So, I say, “Let’s color” and guys, that mean you, also!