“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Psalm 23:3 ESV
I woke with thoughts of Peter, the one who sat with the skeptics, naysayers and contrivers to crucify Jesus and said “Hey, I don’t know him, I’m not one of “those”.
So, I thought “Peter had a lot of stops and starts”.
I can relate. No big deal, you might think; but, I went very light on dinner and then caved around 10 because I really wanted my favorite comfort yummy thing.
Crunchy peanut butter on slightly toasted grainy yet soft bread and a tiny dollop of jelly, folded over, cold milk on the side.
And I slept like a baby only to wake with regret and “start again, start again, jiggity jig little fat pig!”
Imagine if Jesus told Peter “I’ve had it with you! I mean, I even told you that you’d cave under pressure. You’d deny knowing me.”
You’d decide this calling I called you for was not possible. You’d deem yourself incapable.
Peter’s life wasn’t defined by regret.
Nor is ours. We are marked by love, by beginning again and continuing.
Creamy coffee in hand, I open my emails to see a reply. An online magazine is asking for photos of my art, specifically the Psalm 23 collection from over a year ago along with a newer piece, “Pool Party”.
The publication requires a bio and they pointed out what must have been a typo in the original submission.
The bio you added is pretty short – and also a little confusing? I think there’s a typo. It reads:
Artist and Author, hoping to regret redemption and hope through my words and artwork.
Smiled because they didn’t disqualify me because of a typo, smiled because I could never regret my redemption.
I mean, I’d be long gone, succumbed to regrets long, long ago.
It’s my redemption that calls me forward, beckons me to keep trying, put myself in places that invite my story.
Mostly, I’m smiling because all of this “reflects” the redemption and grace of God.
(Reflect not regret, the typo)
Clearly, I am imperfect; but, not unable.
Starts and stops, I can’t even begin to tell you how many.
Beginning again and again.
This is my wondrous story.
I was lost, but Jesus found me
Found the sheep that went astray
Raised me up and gently led me
Back into the narrow way
Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ who died for me. Frances H. Rowley, 1886
Only one of the five “Psalm 23” series sold. One is in my den, three are packed away and one is on display in a restaurant.
Now, I get to share how painting them connected me with the psalmist’s words, how my paintings came together to tell the story.
No regret, only and always
Everything has been and is being redeemed.