I bought the paint during the winter--three gallons of the good stuff on deep clearance for less than I'd planned to pay for the cheaper kind. This was one of those miracles where God provided exactly what I needed, a guaranteed one-coat color that matched the original rusty red I'd grown to love.
When the lady helping me took a Q-tip to paint on the weathered cedar board I'd lugged into Wal-Mart, I had to squint hard to find where the old color ended and the new began. Amazing--an off-the-shelf perfect match to the color used almost a century ago.
Since then, I have been itching for good painting weather. During the past two months of high winds swirling hibernating creation back to life, husband replaced the barn's front while I removed cobwebs and a mouse skeleton from the inside, bleaching away its past.
Friday dawned dry, cloudy, and not quite so gusty. I spent several hours painting the new boards on front, fresh lumber slurping up the covering by the gallon. By Saturday, I had developed a comfortable rhythm of pressing the roller up and down the planks as I balanced high on the ladder, trying not to spill myself and the paint onto the hay below. Then, I went back with stiff bristled brush to paint the seams a roller couldn't reach.
My oldest, Wyatt, even helped for a little while, painting more grass than boards while I worked eight feet above at the peak. Then, husband took a brush to paint alongside me.
I was mid-afternoon into a really good blister when I made it back around front to paint the door jambs.
Constant noise from children had ceased with nap time. Even the swallows that had swooped back and forth at me only hours before had now been hushed by the shoulder-burning sun overhead. The only sound was the stiff bristled acrylic brush swishing loudly, left to right across the top lintel, then up and down the side jambs.
Maybe it was the jarring sound against the silence combined with the deep crimson color this close on the heels of Passover. But in that instant, the red paint on door post turned to blood, and I could envision the outstretched arms of men (and maybe women?) centuries ago, making those same strokes left to right, high to low...except not with Dutch Boy paint and brush.
With each audible swish of their hyssop brush, the blood would have run down and covered more than just the door posts, its thin viscosity splattering the one doing the painting, dripping from overhead and splashing at the painter's feet onto well-worn sandals and dust-covered toes.
With this latex paint, but more importantly, with His blood spilt once and for all time--I am covered.
In speechless gratitude, I whisper thank you.