I’ve begun this post at least three times in the last three days.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything in this space and my thoughts don’t coalesce as well. It seems a great number of things slip through the cracks, what with the energy it takes simply to manage and maintain in these shuttered, shattered and gradually-being-reassembled times.
Plus, I did release a new book of poetry in January*. Sometimes it seems I’ve used up most of my words.
My thoughts have found their way onto paper of a different kind, lately with watercolors and a brush, hence the illustration you see above.
After I peppered my friend Lori Jean with questions about how she made such beautiful artpieces (glowingly shown in her Instagram feed) I tried a stab at it myself. The beginnings looked like this
This watercolor painting process was interesting to me; what I found most satisfying was the action of pulling the tape off the paper and the white spaces in between were revealed. Although the color combinations were intriguing and lovely to behold, what captured me the most was the emptiness in the cracks of the creation.
We often think cracks need filling in or repairing, that they are somehow a defect that distracts from the perfection or completion of something. Who wants cracks in their china? the neighborhood sidewalk? the living room wall?
These are physical cracks for all to see, but what about invisible ones?
The blur of days since life B.C. (Before Corona) has brought all manner of disruption, destruction and disassembling. The whiplash of mental adjustments, the emotional strain of worry over sickness and loss, the spiritual wrecking of what was once my stable (ish) life in Jesus.
Life has been challenging and left many, many broken things behind.
But what if the broken places are exactly where God wants us to find Him?
Our Pastor has been telling us for many, many Sundays, “You were made for these times and these times were made for us.” By ‘these times,‘ of course, he means #LifeintheTimeofCorona. But goodness, sometimes I wonder what God is up to.
I know I am not alone.
Beth Moore recently asked in an Instagram post, “What would happen if we faced and embraced the future like those who BELIEVE GOD KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING?”
- What if the disasters and disease and disruptions are ultimately preparing us for such a time as this?
- What if the broken places are the exact places where God shines through?
- Where we are rebuilt and repaired in new and different and better ways we would never have imagined?
There are new appreciations in my life for the tenderness of family relationships, a new wonder at the beauty of Spring, an openness to new ways of God moving, especially in our church.
Things are just plain different.
I don’t think we’ll ever be back to ‘normal’–but things can be, will be, new, if we let them, if we yield to finding life in the broken places.
I’m going to keep playing with watercolors–especially the shimmery, golden ones. I’ll hand God my paintbrush, yielding to the ways He is making beauty in the cracks in my life where His creation shines through.
What about you? Let’s lean in together.
*The link to purchase Hearts on Pilgrimage-Poems & Prayers is HERE.
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4 thoughts on “Prayers on Paper–With Watercolor”
Something I think the most important things in my day are happening in the cracks!
Love this new site, particularly the way you have organized categories. I am due for an overhaul!
Michele, you are so right….. Jesus is helping me change my point of view about “interruptions.” Thanks for reading!
“A sense of order gently imposed on spontaneous brushwork.” And the “rigor meeting experimental.”
I think all of life lately has been an experiment in expression–groaning too much for mere words. Images serve the spirit better lately.
Your observations are a gift, thank you.
What exquisite thumbnails swatches to illustrate your point —an encouraging insight most gratefully received by this reader. Thank you, Jody.
I too would enjoy how the tape’s removal lays bare the “grid.” A sense of order gently imposed on spontaneous brushwork. It refocuses the eye on the overall mosaic.
I also feel a vicarious wince at the thought of pulling tape off one’s skin where we’ve shielded a break in the tissue so that it can regenerate. The grid. These ethereal glimpses. Rigor meeting the experimental. SO interesting to contemplate!