Deep Calls to Deep...What I Do and Why I Do It
A couple of months ago, I went to the beach all by myself. The beach is where I think. It is the place where my world is quieted and my heart can hear. It is the place where I go to reconnect with my dreams and desires and passions. It is my place.
As the path of my life is changing, I often need to remember what is truly behind what I do. It is so easy to forget and become derailed by shiny objects of the world. The more I embrace the creative in me, the more difficult it becomes to put myself in a category or a box, or to fill in the blank with a title.
So, here is my heart. Here is what I do and why it gives me life. And as I look upon what often looks to me like a messy rendition of finding myself, I remember that I really, really, really do not want to be put in any box. I really don’t want to be definable or predictable or an easy answer to a question. I want to know, instead, that my desires and passions and pursuits are placed inside of me by God and I want to run as fast as I can into them with power much akin to that of a lightning bolt-- never looking back to see if the world approves.
I want to be a voice for the hurting and a voice to the hurting. I want to write words that seem to come straight from your heart; words that make you say, “That is exactly what I am feeling but I didn’t have the words.” I want to speak hope and truth over the lives of those who are caught in the web of pain, hurting beyond belief. When you have given in and given up, I want to be there. When you have tried God but have not found him, I want to be there. When all that is left of your life is a tiny crack in the impermeable walls of safety, I want to be there. When no one seems to understand and if they do they heap shame upon shame, I want to be there.
I want to so draw you in with my paintings that your groanings, need, and ache for connection are realized in an even deeper way. I want you to hear from God when you look at the unexpected flow of the paint and I want to share with you the beauty in watching his heart come alive in the different hues of gold. I long for the words and the pictures together to touch you so deeply that there is no question that God is God, that He is good and that His love is calling...His deep love reaching out to your deep, deep need. I want to bridge the gap, if only a little, between you and the Father.
I do this because I know what it feels like to feel all alone in a sea of people. I know what it feels like to feel unloved, misunderstood and hopeless. I know what it feels like to feel like too much and not enough all at the same time. I know the pain of abandonment, betrayal, depression and death. I know what it feels like to need God more than anything but not know how to find him through impermeable walls carefully constructed around your heart. But I also now know hope. And I want to tell you it is okay that you cannot see it right now. I want to sit at your feet as the tears of 1000 sorrows fall from your eyes and tell you that despite what you see, there is a truth truer than anything you are feeling right now and I am going to hold onto it for you. I will carry your hope for you in your weakness. I will hold it close until you can carry it for yourself.
That is what this is all about, me speaking for you and to you. I will listen in your deafness. I will see for you in your blindness. I offer my hand to you as you search for His hand in the darkest nights of your soul.
God’s hand, my heart.
Psalm 84:6 Blessed are the men who, passing through the valley of weeping, make it a well. They gather their tears, as it were, into the cisterns by the wayside and draw refreshment and strength from their very sorrows, and then, when thus we in our wise husbandry have irrigated the soil with the gathered results of our sorrows, the heavens bend over us and weep their gracious tears and the rain also covereth with blessings.”
Isaiah 61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.