“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability” Acts 2:4 (NRSV)
I’m currently starting to pack up my family home to move house and I took down a picture I painted for my mum’s 60th birthday. It has resided here since mum came to live with me and upon her death has stayed up on the wall. I remember putting all the love and deepest part of me into that painting. It was an emotional experience. I remember an artist once saying to me “you don’t have to be good at art to paint your prayers!”
I had tried to argue that God couldn’t possibly want my daubings! I had experience of how a mother’s love accepted my heart felt offering, so it was a bit daft of me not to think God would accept me just as I came! It probably came from my desire to be in control and only show the part of me that I felt was acceptable, whereas praying through painting involves painting expressively and spontaneously without trying to make ‘successful’ paintings.
I can use the language of colour, mark, line, shape and pattern instead of the language of words. I can paint from my inner landscape, instead of the landscape I see in the world around me. Some experiences of life and faith take us beyond words and we may, indeed need another ‘language’ to express all that lies deep within us. We may not even be aware of what is hidden there in the centre of our being, where we encounter God.
Jesus communicated in creative ways that could be felt and seen, scribbling in the sand and mixing mud and spit. I encourage you, if you don’t already, to take the risk and let go, be vulnerable with painting your prayers.
Soak it! Splodge it! Splat it! Rub it! Rip it! Brush it! Scribble it! Smudge it! Dribble it! Drop it! Stroke it! Float it! Smooth it! Blob it!
Love it! Letting go ….. is letting God!
Blessings of peace and joy be yours in equal measure in 2020
Reverend Angela J Lawson