We’re looking, all of us are, for hope, because God knows despair is easy enough to find without any looking at all.”

Each of us is made by God with specific creative capacities as the great apostle spelled out to the Ephesians. We’re invited to use these capacities to bless, painting the colors of hope and beauty onto the canvas of our broken word, each of us in unique ways. When this happens, hospitals are built, wells are dug, women are freed from sexual slavery, warring tribes reconcile and forgive, neighbors are loved and served, parties are thrown, forests are restored, art is created, children are taught, schools are built, the elderly are dignified, cars are repaired.”

Seeing justice is inviting, beautiful, life-imparting, liberating, hopeful. But doing justice is costly because it means stepping outside our often insulated and comfortable lives and pouring ourselves out on behalf of others. That’s why, when God lays out the primary colors, he doesn’t tell us to find examples of justice, or to study justices, or to talk about justice or watch movies about justice. He tells us to do justice.”

I ponder what it might be like to become someone who embodies this substantive hope, able to paint the vibrant colors of God’s good reign onto this world’s canvas. Millions of people through the ages have walked such a road, pursued such a life. Maybe the same could be true for us. If the Bible has anything to say about it, I’m sure it’s true for you, because this is, in fact, the life for which we were created, and though we might settle for less, we’ll never be truly satisfied with less.”

We need to be painting different pictures—of justice, mercy, love, hospitality, celebration, and hope. This book is about learning to be the kind of people who live this vision, who develop our collective skills as artisans. It is urgent work, because splashes of beauty are needed on our world’s canvas, now more than ever.”