I’ve started a book. The Artist’s Rule: A Twelve-Week Journey Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom is its enticing title and is by Christine Valters Painter. It was given to me as a seminary graduation present by a friend who completed her Master of Divinity degree in 2011. Due to the busyness of our lives, she now a solo pastor of a small church in Nebraska and I swamped with school, we have not spoken much. Despite the distance and lack of conversation her gift to me could not have been more appropriate or timely.
Such a perfect gift at such the right time struck me with awe and amusement. Beaming outwardly and inwardly I just thought, how amazing God’s working and weaving ways are! The book is a sign of God’s awareness of my needs. My need to stay connected to God and my creativity as I enter into an intensive summer internship as a hospital chaplain. It also satisfies my need for structured worship which I have learned I need when times are mentally and emotionally taxing and I lack the ability or want to engage in much free-form worship.
Additionally, this book comes as a sign of affirmation from God. It affirms the direction I have perceived my heart to be leading me—to minister through art. I know to minister or teach well one must first (and always) be a student of what one teaches. Teaching comes out of practice. If one does not practice what one teaches how can she or he know if the teachings are true or have any value? I wish to minister and teach because I have experienced the profoundly positive effects of having a relationship with God, being led by the Spirit, following in the way of Jesus. And, I wish to do so through art because it is through this medium I have had some of my most beautiful and intimate encounters with God. Such blessings I cannot keep all to myself. Such blessings others must have the opportunity to experience as well. Such blessings are made into even greater blessings when shared with and rejoiced over among others!
So, I begin this blog as a way to help me reflect, emote and process my thoughts. I also hope the sharing of my journey with God will inspire and bless your own journey.