Colors of Love

Have you ever been humbled after being around someone else? Not intimidated by them. Not overwhelmed by their prowess or talent; but taken aback by their selflessness, humility, and dedication. That’s what I come away with after spending time with my best friend. I am humbled; thinking how all I think I do to bring God glory is not even a drop in the bucket compared to some. When I feel this way, I pray, and God reconciles me with His word.

“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:8-11 (NKJV)

Let me take you through a typical day in my friend’s life. She often wakes up to the smell of coffee, the hum of an ATV in the distance, a donkey braying, or cattle lowing. With coffee or tea in hand, she settles in at her desk and breaks out several devotional books, with her Bible and journal front and center. She may turn on her computer to check news web sites or emailed prayer requests. For the next several hours, everyone in the household does their best to avoid her. She’s deep in study, reflection, and prayer.

After a final prayer, she may have another cup; make something to eat—more brunch than breakfast—and settles into her day. Yes, she manages the household budget, makes the grocery lists, and directs the happenings throughout the home. Mostly, she draws, stamps, paints, colors, and creates. She spends between eight and ten hours every day in her craft room/office spreading God’s love throughout her world.

Coming to Christ in 2014, my friend took her immense gifts and talents for scrap booking, card-making, and a creative soul, and put them to work through a ministry she calls “You Matter.” This ministry—comprised of a few crafty friends―creates, personalizes, and sends cards of encouragement to residents of women’s shelters and transitional living facilities throughout northeast Texas. Not only do they make cards to encourage the women; they make cards for their children and many special birthday cards each month. Seven days a week, you’ll find my friend working on card designs, printing messages to place inside them, painting or coloring a design by hand, or addressing envelopes.

I asked my friend why she works so hard on this project. Being a guy, my mind tells me it would be less time-consuming and more economical to purchase cards each month. This question drew a sharp rebuke when my friend explained “I can’t pour God’s love into every part of a store-bought card. Don’t you see? With each card we make, my friends and I are praying over its intended recipient. Prayer is each card’s secret ingredient.”

Now you understand why I am humbled whenever I spend time with my best friend. How can I compare to that? With a sweet smile, my friend reminds me it isn’t how many we reach with God’s love; it’s that we reach out to others with His love and not our own selfish desires for recognition, self-satisfaction, or fame. We don’t do these things to showcase our talents, gifts, or skill. We share God’s love with others because He tells us to. God calls each Christian to be His representative in this fallen world.

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If some of you haven’t figured it out yet, my best friend is my wife, Diane. She is my inspiration for showing God’s love in my life. I pray each day I can come to love God, and show His love to others, like she does. I am humbled when I see how she colors her world with God’s love.

“Hero” is among the most misused words in the English language. I can assure you, it is the best word I know to describe my wife. For all she’s faced and overcome in life; for all the ways she shows God’s love through her words and actions; for all the ways she gives love so freely, Diane Lynn Wininger is my hero and best friend.

God’s blessings…

20 thoughts on “Colors of Love

  1. I love this expression of giftedness. Like the little drummer boy playing his drum for Jesus. If we could just grasp the simplicity of offering who we are to God. It blesses beyond measure.

  2. Your friend is giving away the fragrance of Jesus. No color or flower ever can match the aroma of the love of Jesus, which your friend gives so well.
    Thanks for this colorful example for us all and amen for your stand for Jesus.
    Author Terry Palmer

    1. Thank you Mr. Terry. I suspect every man in the world can say this, but I am certain God blessed me mightily with Diane. I even wrote a poem about it many years ago. 🙂 When I am with her, I am the most blessed man on earth.

  3. What a beautiful tribute! And, what a blessing to be married to your best friend. I expect the feeling is mutual and that is also a loving gift from our loving God. It’s wonderful when we can see the best attributes in our friends and spouse. Often we look at the negative and miss the joy that God gives us every day.

    1. Without question, Diane is the second best blessing I’ve received in this life Ms. Katherine. We share my most important one. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words ma’am. God’s blessings…

  4. J.D.—You did it again! You made me get all teary. What a beautiful tribute to your amazing wife, Diane. She sounds like a special lady, indeed.
    God bless both of you for shining your lights brightly!

  5. What a beautiful sentiment to a beautiful lady.
    As I began reading I wondered if you might be writing about your wife, and was delighted to come to the end and see— yes, you were.
    With the two of you searching God, walking in your callings, and blessing others with your giftings, your home must be an engaging and joy-filled refuge.
    Thank you for sharing about Diane.

    1. Thank you Ms. Connie. I’m pretty certain that as we get to know you and your family better (in God’s time), we’ll see many of these same “characteristics of Christ” in you ma’am. I pray our home is a refuge to all who enter. It certainly is for Diane and me. God’s blessings my friend.

    1. What a sweet thing to say Ms. Stephanie. Thank you. If it be God’s will, Diane and I will get to meet you on this side of heaven one day. If not, then we’ll see you and your hubby in Glory!

  6. What a wonderful tribute to your wife! She sounds like an amazing servant of the Lord. I promised to make cards for a local ministry and have not done so. I pray I will make the cards with a heart like your wife’s. Thank you!!

    1. Thank you for these kind words Ms. Jeannie. I agree ma’am, Diane is an amazing servant of the Lord. I stand in awe of her selflessness and dedication. As to your card-making ma’am, the word you’re looking for is “Yet.” I have no doubt that you will fulfill your goal to bring God glory through the cards you’ll be making one day. It is just yet to happen, but I know it will. God’s blessings Ms. Jeannie.

  7. An artist! You are blessed to have her.
    A few years ago the Lord impressed me to not only write fiction and blog posts, but to be an encourager by mail. I studied Paul’s letters and found so many ways to build up and encourage others (also gently rebuke and exhort). I began to send Birthday greetings (store bought, but with Bible verses) to the children at our Faith Bible Church. I would write personal notes about what I loved about them, and how I was praying for them. Often suggestions of Bible reading or study as well. I pray that it is not “I” who am greeting them, but the Lord through me. So…. I have something in common with your Best Friend/wife.
    After the children, I began sending cards to the gals as well, and then eventually … with trepidation… to the guys, always signing both my and my husband’s name to these. I’d live to meet this friend of yours!

    1. My bride extends her Thank You Ms. Jackie. She says that’s how she got started with the You Matter card ministry. It all started by making cards for her church family, then grew from there. God’s blessing ma’am.

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