Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ladies' Painting Afternoon

This past Sunday afternoon I walked a group of women through painting a landscape.  (Photos courtesy of Michelle St. Clair - thank you!)
You may have heard about those painting places where you can go and create a painting in a couple of hours.  Well, this was along those lines, only at a local church.  They asked if I would be willing to instruct and also include a little devotional while we painted.

As I pondered what to paint, and what to talk about, I thought of the flowers of the field. . . it is Spring (finally) around here, so. . . also I thought about being anxious, as there are some bigger decisions that need to be made in our household,  and sometimes to we get caught up in the world around us and what we do or don't have, or how we might afford this or that thing...

All of this brought me to these verses:

The verses from Matthew 6:25-34  were my starting point.  (And it is also found in Luke 6:22-34.)

Matthew 6- ESV  Do Not Be Anxious
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

It was a landscape painting of an open field, some trees in the distance on the horizon, and one larger tree near the center.  There was a path running through the painting from the lower left corner and up and to the right, disappearing in the distance.

 I shared some thoughts as we painted, referencing some possible analogies between the painting and the scripture verses.

The ground, or field had some lighter and darker places for higher and lower spots.  God uses both ups and downs to shape us, lead us and teach us to trust Him even when we can't see some of the reasons.  The path disappearing in the distance shows that we can't always see where we are heading, or where we might end up, but we should trust and follow God's leading.

The sky was blue with some clouds.  In my painting I have come to realize that the sky represents God, the Creator of heaven and earth.  And even though clouds might appear and storms may come, God knows us and sees us and cares about us.

The tree is something I have talked about here in the past, but I see it representing the cross - a reminder of whom we can trust.

The final touch was adding flowers, knowing that they, in all their splendor were created by God, and though they are beautiful, they don't worry about what to wear and yet, God cares for them.  How much more does He care for us, the highlight of His creation?

It was a fun afternoon, and wonderful to see each of the paintings come to life! 

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