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More Pigment in my Paint

by Hannah Lamberth

You can hear Hannah discussing her reflection in episode 22 of the Loved Called Gifted podcast. Listen here

When I say the word ‘pigeon’, what comes to mind?

Maybe running after a flock of them as a small child.

Maybe the lady in Home Alone 2, feeding the birds in Central Park.

Maybe, like me, you have a print of Picasso’s Dove of Peace hanging in your living room, which your mischievous Father in Law has nicknamed “the pigeon”.

When I say the words “elephant’s breath”, what comes to mind?

Maybe a trip to Marwell Zoo on a cold winter’s day in 1994.

Maybe a David Attenburgh documentary, watching the intimate bond between a mum and a baby elephant.

Maybe a once in a lifetime safari watching a herd of elephants journey across the grasslands of Africa.

When I say the word “railings”, what comes to mind?

Waving a child off at the gate on their first day of school?

Maybe the love-bridge in Paris where thousands of padlocks declaring undying love are chained to the railings each year.

Or maybe Miss Mel, the suffragette who valiantly chained herself to the metal railings outside the Prime Minister’s front door as part of a long battle to win women the right to vote.

Or maybe ‘pigeon’, ‘elephant’s breath’ and ‘railings’ bring Farrow and Ball paint colours to mind.

If that’s you, I see you.

In an attempt to make my house look like something from a Homes & Gardens magazine, I’ve spent a small fortune on paint samples from said paint purveyor over the last few weeks.

“Set your minds on things above, and not on earthly things”, the apostle Paul tells us. Which is all good and well until you’re trying to renovate a 1930s semi.

Or choose which airfryer to buy,

or decide which National Trust property to visit.

While I appreciate the quality of a tiny, albeit extortionate, sample tin of Cornforth White paint,

and while I won’t say no to a chicken nugget cooked in 6 minutes in a ninja air fryer,

and while I love a trip to some manicured gardens as much as the next person,

quite frankly, I need more.

I’m longing for more pigment,

more depth,

more beauty,

more seasoning,

more heat.

I am longing for more Jesus.

More of Him in my thoughts, in my conversations, in my parenting.

In my friendships, and in my future.

But setting my mind on Kingdom things, and things above, might mean thinking less about earthly things.

Maybe Paul had a point after all.

It is so terribly easy to be distracted by the superficial beauty of a middle-class life.

One with a nice house, decorated in subtle grey, with just a tiny hint of Jesus.

Is that what I really want?

Is it Farrow & Ball’s.

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