The Story of the White Crayon: Seeing What the World Can't


My Tillie girl has caught the coloring bug. Where her attention span and coordination used to limit her to a few lines on the paper, she is now easily entertained for 20 to 30 minutes, coloring away on her white pages and coloring books.

She got so excited the first time I opened up a new box of crayons. She must be a girl after my own heart the way her eyes sparkled looking at the fresh box of sharp colors. Over the next few weeks she scribbled and colored away with each color, each color that is except for the white. The white crayon Tillie has no patience with. The minute it gets in her way I hear, “No white color, Mommy” or “This color not work, Mommy.”

Finally, today I showed her what the white crayon can do. I got out a dark piece of paper and handed it to her. She looked at me, I think a little confused at why I was giving her the worthless white crayon, but I prodded her to try it. Try it she did, and she quickly looked up at me and said, “It works, Mommy!” Now instead of the crayon not having any purpose, it was one of the only crayons that was visible against the dark piece of cardstock.

With this silly little lesson it hit me that how Tillie viewed the white crayon is much like the world views faith today, (and perhaps even how we view it at times!). Faith and belief in God are all too often passed over as insignificant, false, or fabricated. Without eyes of faith it’s easy to forget the things of God, or never recognize them in the first place. As Paul explained to the Corinthians,

But the natural man receeveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Just like Tillie couldn't see the purpose of the white crayon until I showed her, the world may not recognize the need for spiritual things unless they are taught, and then experience it for themselves. And sometimes it takes the dark—the trials and low points of our lives—to recognize the brilliance of the white.

We who have been so blessed by the knowledge that God lives can’t be afraid to share with others! Whether it is by example or word, we shouldn't be afraid to show our friends and neighbors the power that faith has to bring more joy, peace and purpose. You never know, your example of a life of faith may someday be someone else's little white crayon.

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lizzy jensen