Intoxicated with manipulating images –lost in the primitive thrill of creation;making stuff has been like breathing as long as I remember. I sort through lines of twigs, lines of dowel, lines of wire, lines of meandering string, lines of stiff cable. Creating order out of chaos with lines of welding lead, lines of a song, or following the threads of thought through a shadow’s edge to strands of DNA double helixes has been an ancient urge of mine.
“Where do you find the time? “is a question I am often asked. Time finds me. To everything there is a time, God exists outside of time and we must diligently seek him, watch for that confluence where he comes up against time and record it. Report it. Relay it. Do not be a hearer only but a doer of the Word of God. Rather than pushing the remote, push a brush, push a pencil, push a welding rod or a cutting torch. Record HIS love for you. Report the unexpected. Hear your heart beat with heaven and write the rhythm. Color the shape of His joy. RESPOND. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy…..respond.
Capturing that mental picture, that arresting aroma, that seductive sound and transcribing it into an image has been winnowed by adding beauty to utility by people for ages. The challenge is to push past the first rudimentary sketches and develop a vocabulary peculiar to you and Holy Spirit. When teachers praise rough little drawings that fall short of the artist’s mental image it does not encourage further exploration. Good tools release a sense of play, enabling mastery of that tool.Get good tools.Collect intersting shapes and draw them. We play with stuff that is interesting. Visual language is interesting when it is inspected. Connections are made. Play develops mastery. Mastering skills, training up our gift brings deep satisfaction. As Betty Edwards says in her ground-breaking book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, we treat visual skills as if they were rare and mysterious, granted to only a few. But we expect everyone to master the basic skills of language.
Recently a pundit in Parade Magazine pontificated that schools should not to teach handwriting as we all have access to computers! While a grand invention, computers need to be used by people that have concepts of space, lines, etc. i.e. READING skills – the muscles in our brains that read are trained by drawing. Reading an unseen mental image and being able to describe it is developed by drawing and writing not by pushing a button on a remote. If we are throwing bath water out it should be the mediocre materials being used to teach drawing (or calligraphy). People who say they are not creative were probably victims of the color book, or remote control robot fodder. No wooing of their adventurist spirits to the paper, no questions asking them what they were seeing no teaching or discussion on comparison. So, bored out of their gourds they retreated to Mediocre Land. Couch explorers. Never to be seen again.
Teaching people to see should be an elemental course – teaching people to explore, to master skills of seeing , and reporting is elemental in the kingdom shift we keep hearing about. Restoring the ability to see to a generation takes diligent, insightful, intentional teachers/prophets who have the spirit of wisdom and understanding coursing through their veins.
Restoring a generation to intimacy with their Lord requires an ability to see and record, it requires a heart that beats with Heaven. These hearts that have traveled the ribbon candy road of the absurd, the unbelievable, the hard, the crusty, and the silent silken textures and aromas of the air waves crashing around them- then translating them to journals, these are hearts have trained up their gifts-giving form to those sounds and colors and shapes and smells, and feelings. These are the hearts who have responded to” He who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the church”
The steady, quiet wake-up call, “Here I am, alive, right now “ basks in the fresh light of the spirit of truth.. 13th century poet Kabir said,” You have slept for millions and millions of years. Why not wake up this morning?” And for God sake, make some marks!