July brought many wonderful and encouraging things into our lives. It began by a very informative and exciting time meeting with Artists In Christian Testimony in Nashville. This is an organization that ministers to artists who are called to the ministry in an out of the box way. It was wonderful to receive encouragement and counsel, as well as in depth teaching on our role as worshipers. It was a valuable experience that ended in prayer and exhortation in the gifts God has given us as well practical goal setting. We soaked in the wonderful hospitality of the folks in Nashville and were ready to jump into an art party for our dear friend Shaun Martin.
Shaun Martin has been such a blessing to us in spirit and in action. It was our privilege to celebrate her birthday with her by leading a painting for her guests. It was such a wonderful time! As usual, some participants start with trepidation but gradually ease into the flow of painting. God was faithful. He was gracious enough to show me the process of the painting and its meaning.
We started filling the space of the canvas with one continuous line. This represents the life of the person, unique and expressive. We painted each section that was made with fun, bright colors. This represents child like faith. The next step was the kind that would make someone say, "it's ruined!" That makes it more fun, of course. I asked the crowd to use a dark, watery brown to paint to completely cover the canvas. The question was in the air, "Are you sure?"
The answer was, "Trust me." The brown represented trials, hardship, darkness. God knows all about it and yet He allows it into each of our lives. The darkness, however, can never hide all the beauty of a child like faith. We gently wiped away the brown, acknowledging the fact that you can never wipe it off completely. As sad as that may sound, we realized that the brown toned all the bright colors down enough for us to bring in gold accents. This was the overarching element of hope. We began to retrace our continuous line with a bright gold pen. Without the brown, the gold would have competed with those bright colors and it would have appeared cluttered and without direction. It was the unmistakable example of how the Holy Spirit weaves God's glory into our lives and redeems it all! We were so blessed by this process and were able to pray with a couple of the guests about their needs. Here are a the verses that inspired the art:
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James 1:2-4
"So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. " 1 Corinthian 13:12
Article by Nancy Rordriguez