Christine is in one of those undefined periods of her painting career, where she is exploring thoughts and style, for a possible major work, depicting God’s Creation story. Her innocent symbolistic naive style has been turned towards birds and fish with tropical setting. These preparative paintings are small 12 by 12ins, but they harbor that naivety and wonder which is so captivating within her art. They carry a spiritual presence which although quiet is also powerful.
Her work on the ‘Our Lady of Guadeloupe Icon’ by contrast is large in size and moving forward beautifully.
Recently at the Church of the Redeemer, she led a children’s class on iconography, and had the students color in her drawings of Icons. It was a big success and has involved her in more teaching activities in the future there.
For how much longer will the birds be singing?
For how much longer will I be listening?
One only gets to ask these kinds of questions, when we allow ourselves to sit still and be with our Creator God. The irony of course is, God longs for us to be still with Him, but we seldom allow ourselves the gift of His peace, because we think there is always more ‘to get done’, in the day.
Our lives seem to be a race to accomplish so much, which in hindsight is really insignificant. What could be more important than hearing the birds sing and being still with God?
What kind of world would we live in, if everyone regarded the highest achievement was to be intimate with God?
Of course the demonic does all it can to prevent that. Whatever it takes to break our relationship with God, the demonic has done it and will do it over again. Kill, steal and destroy, are the obvious attributes through the vessels of lies, boredom, lust, envy, pride, jealousy and neglect; and so many other ‘achievements’.
Now, I realize why my Lenten commitment, to spend more personal time with God, has been as difficult as giving up something; like desert. To put it bluntly, to spend more time with God I have to give up something else. That brings me right back to the real question of, have I given my life to Jesus or am I fooling myself with busy work as a Chaplain, carrying Jesus, but not being completely in Jesus? For me the answer has to be, yes, I am fooling myself. I have just been carrying Jesus but not been totally alive in Him.
One of largest parts of being a Chaplain in an elderly residential community is visiting people. People in hospital, nursing care, assisted living and those suffering from loss or grief of one form or another. The challenge of initiating a caring conversation with someone who has sat alone in their room, most likely with a television blaring, hour after hour, anxious, lonely, bored and often in pain. How to find out, where and what God wants you to pray for, with that individual. I stumble into questions to try to get some idea of who they are; I ask, how long have you been here, are you in pain, do you have any family, or where was home for you when you grew up? Often I have to ask them a second time what their names are, because I forget during our interaction, so I can name them before the Lord and start to pray.
I wish I was better at this.
Then I remember, to spend more time listening to the birds singing with our Creator, God. Just to spend more time with God, one on one, and be alive in Him.
Martha was directed by Jesus to not be annoyed with Mary for staying in His presence, instead of being a busy hostess. “ Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42.
Please, let us know how we can pray for you and keep us in your prayers too.
Christine and Michael