Forty Days of Art
On Sunday Josie came home with a little bag from Sunday School- five crackers and two fish. She was supposed to share it with her sisters, like the little boy who gave his lunch. (Cutest Sunday School lesson ever).
I have been thinking about Lent and what does God want to do in me this year, where is He prompting me to change or give or let go? Every year, I am so in need of Lent.
And so I thought about the little loaves and fish, such a small thing, and also, to the little boy, everything. And how his little-small-everything became multiplied into something so much bigger...
My everything at any given moment usually is some small thing. I could almost call it insignificant, and hide it beneath my coat.
It's small, but it's mine. Mine Mine Mine.
That thing I most want to protect, am most afraid of letting go . ..
The best sermon I've heard on the roles of men and women went something like:
Men, you're charge, here are all of the reasons why that's your right. . .
Women, you are equal. Here are all of the reasons why that's your right. . .
Now . . .
You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature.(Phil 2:5-7)
You are at liberty, but submit.
It is all yours, but give.
You are justified, but let it go.
I can't tell you all of the details, but one of the greatest miracles I experienced this year began with the smallest letting go. This thing that was mine. I thought I needed it. And I had a right to it- I did. But something happened when I let it go- that small thing- it grew. It multiplied in another way, some life-giving way I hadn't expected.
When we let go, Jesus multiplies.
And what does this mean for Lent this year?
What small thing am I clinging to that Christ is asking me to give?
What small thing does it require faith to give?
Somehow the thing I feel most prompted to give to Jesus this year, that small thing in my hand that I hold onto in fear, requiring faith, is art. I feel compelled to create, to search for the story of redemption in daily life.
I am an expert at all of the reasons to hide my art and there is a time to make art in the dark and a time to pour the art at Jesus' feet. This year feels like a time for pouring out.
I love this reflection on Ash Wednesday at A Slice of Infinity: Sleep and Ashes- Maybe the most countercultural thing I can do is to get more sleep.
The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us? When we begin to take the lowest place, to wash the feet of others, to love our brothers with that burning love, that passion, which led to the cross, then we can truly say, ‘Now I have begun.'" (OnBeing)