Once a month or so in our Formation class, we learn a new spiritual practice. (Formation as in being formed for ministry...a space in which to explore our identity, build community, and grow our spirituality.) This past week we were met with two blank sheets of paper and some markers (many of which turned out to be pretty dried up, but that's besides the point.)
We were directed to just draw lines - free flowing lines - on one of the pages. Not to try to make them straight, just let them curve all over the place to loosen up our creativity. Evidently I was channelling my inner minimalist because this is what my page looked like:
Pretty pathetic, I thought at first! But as I got looking at it, I started to think hmm, mysterious ways at work? It kind of looks kind of like a river with fishy shapes (God, the Living Water and the Jesus fish, get it? lol)
Our next practice was to turn the page over and draw what freedom looks like. No rules or parameters, whatever freedom looks like to us, draw that.
This materialized on my page:
I showed it to my sister Lynn afterward, and told her I had no sweet clue what the heck it was supposed to represent. Seriously, no idea what on earth it had to do with freedom. Then I joked oh, it's my head, utterly and blissfully empty of learning goals! (Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike learning goals?! There's recognition at every level of education that people have different learning styles...except when it comes to learning goals...evidently everyone *must* find learning goals helpful to their growth. Yeah, well...not me. I find them limiting and would say they stunt my growth and creativity rather than enable those to flourish. However, this is the box I'm in as a student and so I play the game.) So it makes sense that I'd draw "freedom from predetermined learning goals"!
Finally, now that we were all loosened up, we were told to draw our image of God. What? I don't have "an image" of God in my head that I can conjure up and churn out on paper. I sat for a minute...staring at my blank paper. And then the faces of my daughters floated up in my mind...so I drew them. God as love, as relationship, as the strength and resilience that enables them to live with depression, which is where the two symbols "Alive" and "into your lungs" comes in, those are the tattoos they got as reminders that there is always hope, that when things are at their worst, just breathe...breathe. Breath...ruach...Spirit of God.
And finally..."draw yourself in the picture". I drew myself as a heart, enfolding them, them at the centre. God. is. Love.