Lately, I seemed to be spinning my wheels, digging ruts. Fighting ambiguity about creating the "small space," I rocked out of my routine and moved my disciplined time with God out of the house and into the yard.
The first day I went out with my cup of coffee, a box of crayons, and a watercolor notebook. The crayons were going to be my attempt to bring out my “inner child.” The picture of cherise on the cup became my inspiration.
Was coloring a likeness of cherries onto watercolor paper going to change my life?
No, I didn’t think so.
Did I expect it to?
I did not.
Would I enjoy it?
I thought maybe I would.
Still I fought guilt. There was laundry to be folded, dishes to put away, and a grocery list to write. The guilt stirred my heart me to pray. Guilt became grace---a gift that moved me toward the Creator of colors.
Searching through the forty-eight choices before me, I started to talk to God as if we were sitting side by side, a conversation between two friends sharing a box of crayons and a cup of coffee.
It was such a sweet conversation.
Yes, that's what we had-----a conversation. Not that anyone could have eavesdropped. It was silent on both parts, a quiet knowing that slowed time to a holy moment.
My eyes, hands, brain worked mindlessly as I colored cherries. All the while my soul engaged to His Presence near. Soundless, I expressed what He already knew.
I have prayed a lot lately. Let me restate: I have talked to God a lot. I have witnessed prayers answered in incredible ways. But I have to admit I have been the one doing all the talking.
I was stilled by coloring.
And there my soul heard the small Voice from the Big God.
He was so patient with me as I told him how I was struggling to live in this relatively new season of life.
He understands----is not surprised.
I slipped the colors back to stand beside their companions. My cherry drawing complete, my thin soul deepened with his leading.
One thing. He gave me one thing---turned from his drawing to write on my heart one truth:
"Surrender to the grace-drenched life---learn to see grace everywhere. Truth will come in the smallest of things. Look for it."My eyes are wide open.
The "small space" found me practicing coloring as a spiritual discipline-----a surprising encounter with "God in the yard."
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
(Psalm 51:6 ESV)
Thanks to L.L. Barkat for her inspirational book,
God in the Yard: Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us, 2010, T.S. Poetry Press. Kindle Edition.
Counting the Graces with Ann:
-holding my sleeping granddaughter during church
-night rain followed by a grey day
-quiet Sunday afternoons
-orange leaves on the sassafras outside my bedroom window
-a husband worthy of respect
-Drake, the yellow dog, that makes him happy