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:
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.