Do you ever sit down to write or to paint — and draw a blank—no thoughts, no feelings, no imagination about what you can do with the precious minutes you have set aside to practice your arts? Or have you ever needed to prepare a meal and tried to think of something that sounded good to eat — and failed?
I’ve been cooking meals for more years than most people have been alive. I do get jaded sometimes. When that happens, I pick up a cookbook or look at the Internet for an idea. When it comes, I do something similar to what I’ve found, but I never use the exact recipe.
This morning I had time for my quiet time, but I didn’t know what to do, so I took out my pack of Healing Scriptures from New Creation Gifts (www.newcreationgifts.org) and selected the first card on the pile. I wanted to paint or draw a small picture for the day, too, so I brought out a mat and drew a frame with it in my journal/sketchbook. I read the scripture reference and looked into my Message Bible to see how it was translated there. I also have cards from The Artist’s Muse that give suggestions for an art project. Since I had no preconceived ideas, I used the top one.
That card suggested drawing a tree like no tree you’d never seen. It said use a word and some numbers. I wrote EASTER up the trunk and wrote numbers in the shape of fronds. Then came a sea and a beach. Starting with the verse on the card, I read several others. It was a kind of wandering, where one scripture reminded me of another one. Then I saw my tree again and the water that washed up behind it reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures. By the time I’d finished I had a satisfying (to me, at least) page in my journal/sketchbook.
Here’s the tree and water, and here’s what I wrote, thinking and hoping that my Heavenly Father was guiding me.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Dearly Beloved, (personalizing the scriptures as if my Abba were speaking to me.)
I am always the same. I never change. I am always drawing you into a sure thing, as I am teaching you to follow me, and to trust me.
You are a tree planted by water. Your roots never die because they have gone into my Spirit and are sustained by my waters. Your leaves will never wither or dry up. You will constantly bear fruit for me at the right time and in the right way even when you may not believe you are capable of bearing fruit. You succeed in everything you do. (I would debate that last, but I feel that the Lord wants me to accept it).
The scriptures came from Hebrews 13 and Psalm 1.
And by the way, I’m re-reading a wonderful book you might like by Richard J. Foster. He’s a Quaker minister and he has written many high quality books that can help us in our spiritual walk. This one is Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home.