Selah Art MinistryFriday, March 16, 2012
I wanted to be a writer. With my whole heart, I wanted to be a writer. It was my dream. It still is my dream. Somehow, I will one day be a successful writer. I'm determined. I promise. Just watch and see.
I might have been that successful writer by now if I hadn't started arguing with God. So let this story I am about to unfold be a lesson to you. Do NOT, under ANY circumstances, argue with God. Don't mock or laugh at the talents He gives you....because He might just knock you over the head and make you eat your words.
It happened to me one Sunday morning. My husband was about to preach at our church for the first time. I was pretty proud and scared out of my mind that Roger was going to get up in front of the congregation and preach a sermon. What if he did or said something inappropriate? I was convinced he was going to get us thrown out of the church. Seriously. I was terrified. But one second later, I was jealous. What did I have to offer God? Sure, I'm a pretty talented photographer, even successful at it...but how did that change lives? I can write, but God certainly wasn't opening any doors for my words to go further than my circle of dedicated readers that also happen to be my friends. That didn't count. So what did I have? Truly?
"I gave you the ability to draw at a very young age and you refuse to use it."
God's voice was as clear as a bell. You would think that would be enough to drive a woman to her knees and promise to take up the graphite and sketch paper and never put it down. Nope. Instead, I scoffed at the idea. "Art? I can't paint. I can only draw people. How is that going to help anyone?"
"I will give you the people to draw, and if you are obedient and sketch and send the portraits to the people I give you, I will breathe exactly what they need in that moment upon the paper."
It still makes me shiver.
Tears were in my eyes. God reminded me of a soldier that was killed in Afghanistan from Southern Indiana; a toddler hit and killed by a car; Marines that were friends of my husband killed at the start of the war in Iraq. With each memory, I recalled wives, mothers, father and siblings with tears in their eyes. Some questioned God. Others were simply broken almost beyond repair. I saw God breathe on sketches of the deceased...and the breath wash over the loved ones left behind.
I'm not foolish. I know that a sketch is only a sketch. It isn't flesh and blood. It isn't a heartbeat returning to life. It is only graphite and paper. Someone might receive one of my portraits and not a thing will happen. But there is a promise. It might take time, but eventually...ONE DAY...they will stare at the portrait and feel the slightest tickle of God's healing breath upon their cheek. He promised me.
So, I've put my strings of words and delicate novel plots on a shelf for now and decided to be obedient. In a few months time, I have completed more than 20 portraits of fallen soldiers and sent them to their mothers. Each was sent anonymously and without payment. But the word is spreading and the requests are multiplying. I need more artists to join my little ministry. They will come...I know they will. In the meantime, I am going to have to stop doing this on my own, secretly, and let others in to help and play a part. It has become quite obvious that God is making this step toward obedience much larger than just me. It isn't about me anymore. It is about an opportunity for Him to reach the heart of the broken. How stinkin' amazing is that?!?! And here I thought I was just honoring His request.
So, this blog post is a step in a whole new direction. It's me letting other people know what I am up to. It is me screaming at the top of my lungs about this ministry. It is me hoping that others will hear about it and want to play a part. It's me giving others an opportunity to be used and be obedient alongside me. This life isn't just about us. Mostly...it's about loving on others with everything we got inside us. 'Cause that's what God does for us. And I pretty much want to be like Him when I grow up.
NOTE: Selah Art Ministry if for anyone in bereavement and not only for military families.