Thursday, October 14, 2010
The blank canvas. There it is...waiting. I must admit I have never stood before anything larger than an 11x17 canvas, let alone anything the size my dear friend and amazing artist, Shireen Mackeson, encouraged me with this week. Shireen is a gifted fine artist and prophetic painter who I am blessed to be traveling through "The Artist Way" process with. The journey through this book has us stripping away and examining many of the negative messeges and personal roadblocks to our own unbirthed creativity. So in the spirit of pushing through and braving new territory....we steeped hot tea, climbed the stairs to her lovely studio, took our shoes off, put on some inspiring KINK Lights Out music and accepted the invitation to create.
My talented friend is bold and brave in her painting and I felt like a timid child. As we chatted about our life, faith and art, painting side by side, I felt myself slowly relax into the experience. I felt like I had broken through an invisible barrier and was standing somewhere new. My heart raced at the generous variety of paintbrushes and colors I had to choose from. With fresh eyes, it struck me just how vast the array of tools and creative resources there are at God's disposal as He paints my own story.
I wasn't sure what would emerge on my own canvas but I kept seeing an image of a form nestled deep within her own heart in a season of waiting...waiting for what was possible...waiting for her gifts and passions to emerge from a new depth that only seems to come through attending to the deep and raw places of the heart.
I think thats where God and I are these days. Waiting is so hard. Dissappointments are disheartening. I have felt so torn between many directions these days and in my impatience have been tempted to force the process and pry doors that just arn't meant to be opened yet. So today was an exercise in resisting the urge to spend the day attempting to make something happen...and instead playing, relaxing, waiting and listening for something to emerge. Seeing it as a step in the journey rather than any kind of arrival.
Art and the process of creativity is such a beautiful place to learn life lessons. It is in this womb we can experience the living truth of a creative God who is skillfully blending our unique colors and painting new brushstrokes in our hearts. He is not impatient and is delighted with the process. Like the image I saw as I stood before the blank canvas, God paints our destiny from the ultimate design he has already imagined for us. Our job is to trust Him and risk the steps he reveals along the way.. to participate despite our fears and uncertianty...in His masterpiece.
I was so inspired and in awe watching Shireen move in her gifting. Her paintings explore deep, rich and emotive color. As she painted, she shared the word pictures she heard from God and the stories of His truth that she hoped the work would convey. Truly a rich day!
This is where I paused by the end of our time together. The work is far from done but I am fine with waiting for more detail to emerge and being vulnerable and seen in the process of that waiting. My hope it that my humble strokes on this canvas will encourage you to be where you are, rest in the waiting and invite others in even though you might not feel ready or finished yet!