A big part of my personal mission this summer is incorporating my artwork into ministry and expanding my understanding of God’s role in bringing to completion in me His gift of artistic ability. This has been the theme of the new direction I’m taking with my artwork and it’s exciting discovering more about what He has planned for this part of my life.
The theme of being filled with the Holy Spirit has been crucial to much of what we do here, but I have been blessed to see this in my artwork as well. All 7 paintings I’ve completed here have been unquestionably driven by the Spirit. He is consistently creating beautiful things through me and it is so much fun to see what He comes up with.
I know it is not me who is responsible for the fruit of my painting efforts because of my own reaction to some of the stuff I’ve created. You would expect that I am very aware of everything on the page when I’m looking at a painting I’ve made - that I’m so familiar with it that I wouldn’t be surprised by anything I see. But this couldn’t be more false. The last time I did a painting, I found myself looking back at it whenever I would go into my room for the next two days as if I hadn’t even seen it before. There seemed to be so much there that I didn’t even remember painting, like the little pieces I put together in the process, not thinking of the whole, came together to make something I wasn’t even aware of nor trying for. This has been the case for every painting so far and I’m more amazed each time to see what He enables me to do.
But it’s not automatic. The other day I was sitting across from a friend at a table, painting and reading my Bible periodically. At one point I looked up from working on the painting and noticed my friend watching intently. She looked up too and said the most amazing thing:
“Wow, I am just sitting here praising the Lord watching you paint and draw. Like, that He created you to do this and gave you that ability. And when I watch the intensity you create with and can see that you have the same worshipful heart behind it when you work. It amazes me to think about how much intensity God must’ve had in creating us and the amount of time that took. I see you pick up the painting and hold it up for yourself to see, then putting it down again to make a small change cause it wasn’t quite perfect. That’s exactly what He did with us, tweaking until we were perfect.”
It was such an insightful and blessing comment. I was thrilled to hear that someone was able to see God in what I was doing and better yet praise and worship Him through my doing so in painting. That is what it looks like to steward this gift. To push others on towards Him and to experience His Spirit living in me.
With that, here is a handful of the first paintings He has worked out of me this summer: