Enjoying God: Color and image

July 20, 2010 — Leave a comment

A few weeks back [actually over a month now, but who’s counting] I talked about having fun with God, and promised to look at ten ways to enjoy God. [confession: ten was a random number, and I’m not sure how many I will end up writing about]. Number one was looking for patches of Godlight.*

Number two: Coloring.
I could say drawing but that would put too much pressure on my artistic talent. [another confession: although I love art and majored in the philosophy of art–aka aesthetics–I am very low on the fine motor coordination scale.]

The original inspiration for coloring came when I was trying to keep two small children occupied during the sermon every week at church. I started to bring a pad of paper with me and drew little pictures to illustrate the message. I found it helped the kids stay focused, and me too. I still think of doing that again sometime but now I mostly jot down notes as I listen.

Then awhile back I bought this book:

However, like a few other books more books than I’d like to admit, it fell victim to the SMBSLT principle [“So many books, so little time.”] Then back in the winter, I attended a Godly Play session*. The leader told the story of Sarai/Sarah in Genesis, with objects and figures, and then we had a time to respond to the story, choosing from a wide range of art supplies and paper. Seeing the story played out and then responding to it through art was a profound experience for me, and brought me back to the possibility of using art during time I spend alone with God.

My response to the story of Sarah
[which also illustrates it’s the process and not the result that matters]

Then the fun really began. I dug out some colored pens and pencils, a sketch book, and a Lahu bag from Thailand to store them in. [third confession: I couldn’t resist supplementing my collection and have since bought two additional sets of pencils and pens]. If I were really artistic, I would have bought paints or maybe clay to sculpt.

Now every so often when I spend time with God, I get out my colors. Sometimes I draw as I pray. Sometimes I illustrate something I’ve read from God’s Word. [As Jesus said in Mark 4:24 “Consider carefully what you hear” or in the Greek “see what you hear”] Sometimes I work through something that is troubling me. Sometimes, overcome by a feeling or stuck in a fog, I have no words to speak, and then drawing becomes a way of communicating. I’m discovering the images that emerge often stay with me in a way that words don’t. Other times, they deepen the meaning of the passage I’ve been meditating on.

[a few more examples to prove that you don’t need to be artistic to color with God]

The process of drawing itself reminds me that my walk with Jesus is also a process. It’s not always neat or pretty. Where I start is not where I end. Often things emerge that I wasn’t aware of on a rational level. Truth sinks down into my heart. My spirit becomes engaged with God as I become freed from intellectualizing about God. Unexpected insights come from the Holy Spirit. I get a different glimpse of the glorious brilliance of God.

Let there be color—great post on the topic at “Leaf by Elizabeth” [she hosted the godly play session I attended]

How to have fun with God :patches of Godlight

Godly Play The website of the Godly Play organization.

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