Yesterday, I joined the crew for work day at the theater. The set is moving along, and become more detailed. My job for the day was to paint two structures and the floor around it. This will eventually become Job’s house.
Stage Manager Leah jumped in to assist this painting effort. Soon, we were both on the floor with paintbrushes, strategically making our way down stage. It wasn’t until I heard Director Ian chuckling that I looked up and noticed that I had practically painted Leah into an inescapable corner. She only had one small paint-free “path” to freedom!
While this scenario was comical in a world of paint and set construction, how often do we “paint someone into a corner” in real life? When we want something, do we ever manipulate others so we can get it? Sure, it’s not the cruel, dramatic manipulation we see on television or in movies, but we have all learned the right things to say or do to influence the actions of others. Or perhaps our “painting” comes during fights and arguments. In the midst of our anger, we react in ways that leave another person no other choice but to react way out, and especially no way to reconciliation.
Jesus’ command to love one another seems so simply in the delivery, but so difficult to follow in times like these. Painting someone into a corner is never an act of love- only selfishness, inconsideration, or even lack of attention at all. It’s time to open our eyes and become aware of how we use our brush.