Tag Archives: art

Save me

Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
Jesus Walks on the Sea
between 1866 and 1870

When the winds of pain, stress, and anxiety blow strong, I tend to lose sight of love and goodness and sink into despair.

Today I will take time alone to pray. I will entrust my troubles to the Lord, and accept the healing of the Lord’s eternal patience, compassion, and presence.

[Jesus] went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Matthew 14:23

God’s beloved

The Transfiguration
JESUS MAFA. Transfiguration, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved August 6, 2017].

I wonder, if I listened very hard, if I would hear a holy voice say I am God’s beloved child.

I wonder how it would change me to live with the knowledge that I am God’s beloved child, that we are all God’s beloved children, that God is pleased and delighted by our presence.

From the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” Matthew 17:5b-8

In the net

William H. Rau (1855-1920)
Fishermen by the Sea of Galilee, Palestine
stereograph, gelatin silver, ca.29 December 1903

Today’s net holds a variety of interesting “fish.” I find joy in the beautiful morning. Pain deep in my bones. Ease for the pain in the sun’s warmth. Anxiety about returning to work tomorrow. Comfort in the cat’s purr. Annoyance in the in-and-out demands of another cat. An opportunity to be in touch with my elderly aunt. A message from a friend.

To be in the kingdom of heaven is to choose the fish that feed me and others. It is to make a deliberate effort to discard the fish that weaken my ability to love.

Today I choose to let go of anxiety and annoyance. I choose to be gentle with the pain. I choose to give thanks for the beauty of the world and the people I encounter.

[Jesus said to his disciples,] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.” Matthew 13:47-48

In God’s care

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Le semeur
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

All people, including me, no matter what’s going on in the world, are in the tender, compassionate, comforting care of God.

Today I thank God for taking care of me.

There is no god besides you who have the care of all. Wisdom 12:13

 

Rest

Charles Cousen (1819-1889)
Engraving after R. Beavis

The heaviest part of today’s burden is not the migraine. It is the negative self-judgment. I am disappointed in my physical frailty and inability to do all that needs to be done.

But I can handle my most pressing need: to take time to partner with the One who is eager to give me rest. It is enough, it is more than enough, it is my calling to let the Lord teach me God’s care and compassion.

[Jesus said,] “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

 

The power in each breath

The power of wind and fire is within each breath I take. This is the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.

How will I make use of the power of the Spirit in me today? How can I help fulfill the Lord’s vision of peace and unity and love among all people?

And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:2-4

 

Teaching

Chris Cook, b.1962
Men of Galilee
Acrylic on canvas

Love, forgiveness, compassion, nonviolence, prayer, generosity, service to the poor… does my life witness teach others these commands of the Lord?

Today I will remember Jesus is with me and ask for the courage to embody his commands. I will look to others to be my teachers, too, so that I may become more skilled in the ways of the Lord.

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “…[teach] them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18a, 20a