God is the creator of everything. Everywhere you look there are magnificent patterns, shapes, colours, shades and hues all expressing and reflecting His absolute glory and creativity.
Many years ago I dabbled in painting then feasted down the avenues of history of art, bought an easel, a palette, a good set of hog hair brushes and a good range of oil paints.
I was set to discover the joys and pains of finding my expression in art. Besides endless hours with a patient art tutor I would head out into the countryside to try capture the beauty my eye could behold. Then one day, I just put down the brush, and that part of me died, so to speak.
I continued to visit galleries around the world as I had time and money permitted. I treasure every piece given or bought — by both professional and amateurs, realising what depths they had gone to put colour to canvas or paper.
Oftentimes the piece had the signature of God which only I could see.
It took time for me to realise to be a transformer you didn’t need to be a professional artist. You needed to be a lover of Jesus and a lover of His people.
One such drawing was that of a rainbow simply drawn with wax crayons. I was so deeply ministered to by the symbol as it represented hope, covering and blessing after a challenging time. You can just imagine how much joy I put into narrating the story of Noah to our granddaughter.
Expressing Himself through you
When the Creator of the universe is longing to express Himself through you He’ll lead you to pools of water and refreshing in dry places.
I recall dragging myself off to find my soul in art therapy classes. Thursday nights sharing why you had plastered and plucked and stuck those colours together with a group of seekers gave more rise to questions than answers.
Clutching my work under my arm like Van Gogh drove me into the very presence of God and it was He that led me to stories that my mother told me that begun to unlock my purpose here on earth. She had prayed whilst I was still in her womb that I would serve the Lord and all of His purposes, that I would only know meaning in the larger family of God. That I was a child of God.
I now know why when Jonathan David and Melissa Helser sing I am a child of God I come alive and the sea of my imagination begins to part and I cross past the wild waters to the Promised Land.
I had recently received a prophetic word to start painting again. My initial reaction was one of ‘No … not formal classes’. My mind raced back to the hours and hours of trying so hard to get it perfect. Hours in dark lecture rooms without colour.
Yet deep inside the still small voice in the wilderness cried out for creativity.
Then after a recent trip to Dubai I was reminded how extreme purpose and desire can give birth to an entire city. If that be the case and God has invited not only me but all of us to be co-labourers and co-creators and dreamers to reform our cities and situations, then it is entirely possible.
He has given us His mind, He lives within us and He longs to work through us to bring solutions to situations that we currently face.
Travelling along this train of thought for just a little longer. When our eldest daughter was expecting our granddaughter I would pray for her little one, calling her my little Princess. She wasn’t due for at least three weeks and we were away at an Open Heavens conference in Bethel (USA).
As it happened, our daughter was told by her doctor that she needed to deliver baby early.
At the same time we were receiving the most encouraging prophetic word about ‘Princess’ and her future as a prophet from Theresa Dedmon, head of the Creative Arts Department at Bethel. It was given by means of a painting, done by one of her students — it was a simple gold crown placed on a red velvet-cushioned gold throne. It could have been just a prophetic word, a scripture but the Lord magnified it all with a painting.
As it happens my granddaughter loves drawing and painting and when she spends time with me there’s no pressure to get it perfect! Whenever she completes a picture she stands back and says ‘Wow Wee!’. She now has a Wow Wee wall at home to display her works.
Dream the impossible dreams
Where does this leave you as the reader? Right now there are many challenges we face in our country — starting in your family, in your neighbourhood — that require huge change.
You need the wisdom that Solomon had, that caused total transformation. Start with asking God to help you dream again. Ask Him to infuse your creative side, to open your eyes to His solutions.
Try not to think about the details of the solution. Just dream impossible dreams. Jot them down. Draw them, collect pictures, collect words that express what it is you’re trying to say. Collect verses. Just stop and notice what lifts your spirit.
Get together with other creatives and throw the ideas around, step out and watch and see what the Lord will do. One will have a song, another a design, another will have a way to turn that design into something. Let God orchestrate what He started.
God wants to answer our prayers so that your joy may be full John 16:24.
Sounds of change
Music can settle or stir the soul when life is about to change. My heart was truly staged for a life-changing event when the sounds of a familiar song, It’s time to say goodbye came over my car radio. I was quite tearful and I found myself praying words to God to have mercy and do it quickly.
Soon after that, news of my brother being admitted to hospital for a respiratory condition came which was followed a few days later by that dreaded phone call with a strange ring. Dennis had gone home.
Oh blessed assurance I needed that all was well with his soul. We exchanged stories of his commitment to the Lord and the words of No Longer Slaves took on a different meaning. Dennis no longer had to fight for his very breath and face the fear of the future. His battle with emphysema was over.
The sea had parted and he is in the Promised Land as a child of God. Funny isn’t it, Dennis got to share my favourite song as his swansong?