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Posts Tagged ‘Parramatta Baptist Church, Northmead, Sydney, Kleins Rd, Art Installation, solitude, rhythms of grace, collage, photography, photographic displays, gratitude, hospitality, fasting, seasonal foliage, s’

I sit in silence, yet around me I hear the whispers of so many different creative voices, each speaking of God’s own creativity and love and grace. I sense I am on holy ground—the air seems to vibrate with God’s Spirit.

I am at our church’s Art Installation*, a reflective space filled with all kinds of creative works—paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, wood carvings, knitting, pottery, poetry, prose and more. In varying ways, these works portray the four seasons, with a tree at the centre sectioned into quarters to display different seasonal foliage. But they also depict four important ‘rhythms of grace’—gratitude (spring), hospitality (summer), fasting (autumn) and solitude (winter).

Almost all works on display have been created by our church members—some young, some much older. I read with care the notes most have written to explain the significance of their work and how God inspired them along the way. Here and there in the room, benches have been placed to enable visitors to sit and reflect. At one spot, we are encouraged to swirl the water in a beautiful, blue pottery bowl around with our hand, to notice how the water takes time to be still again, to listen to our hearts—and gradually, as we sit, to become still ourselves in God’s presence.

I continue on, praying that those who visit this creative space will delight in what they see and be drawn closer to God, but also that they will encourage the artists and writers who have risked exhibiting their work. I come to my own piece of writing, displayed alongside beautiful photographs of solitary scenes. It is an honest, revealing piece, but I am glad I have written it.

Solitude. My lifeblood. My sacred space where I can reconnect with God, with myself and with that creative part of me that is crying out for inspiration and refreshment.

I sit still for as long as it takes to become mindful once again of the presence of God all around and within. As my spirit breathes in God’s life-giving Spirit, I realise how much I have missed these times of solitude, in the midst of all my busyness, and how desperately I have short-changed both myself and God. My emotions surface—I become aware of a sadness within, a kind of desolation at losing sight of the person God created me to be under those heavy layers of worry and self-doubt and expectation.

I cry out to God then to comfort me, to reassure, to tell me again who I am, to show me my unique place in this world. The moments pass, as I am held close in those loving arms. I rest in God’s grace and forgiveness that flow over me and through me, bringing deep healing and watering those parched places within.

I know I am God’s child.

I know I am loved.

I know I have a place and a purpose in this world.

And I am at peace.  

May you too, wherever you are today, be at peace with God and know God’s amazing love for you.

*Please note:    Should you wish to visit Parramatta Baptist Church’s Art Installation, 84-94 Kleins Rd, Northmead, Sydney, it is open until this Sunday, 9th October, from 7.00-9.00 each evening, 9.00-12.00 noon on Saturday and 9.00am-1.00pm and 4.30pm-8pm on Sunday.

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