“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:21 NIV
My friend, Susan gets me, the way I share a story that goes down every path possible and then I circle back around to the point of my sharing.
God has placed wisdom in the form of listeners and those who notice me and mostly unbeknownst to them lead to clarity.
Many years ago on a Thursday morning, a question lingered, had been lingering long. I asked God what to do and added that I knew me and I’d be confused and conflicted forever if He didn’t show me in a big and clear way.
And He did and the course of my life changed.
I accepted that I would be a single mother.
I may never have a prayer answered so promptly and sure again. Or I may.
Wednesday morning, the country road was quiet, the half moon moved with me and fields on either side, sprinkled with cows and crops were striated by thinly layered fog.
Like a canvas changed by an artist who intentionally used light spectacularly well.
I’d been thinking of that same sort of application in new paintings.
I thought of my words in a journal, the research into what the phrase “honing my craft” truly means.
I was happy. I love words and I love when they are like little secret gifts.
A term I used as a nonprofit professional came to mind, “mission creep”. New to the leadership field, I inherited a mess of misuse of many things. Funding was failing, the agency facing catastrophic losses and necessary changes.
I had no skillset for this position other than compassion for others and a commitment to that call.
There were talks of “adding programs” for which grant funding was freely distributed. If we did more, there might be more money.
But, we had two employees and no capacity to carry out additional programs. I said no and I had a board who trusted me.
I offered, “No, let’s figure out what we are known for, what matters and what we do well and let’s get better at that.”
That naive assertion on my part redirected the course of the agency I oversaw for ten years and I suppose as I write this, it’s the actual first time I have given myself credit for that courageous “no” to chasing after new at the expense of forgoing good.
Choosing better over bigger.
Lord, I see you refining my jagged edges.
A prayer I offered on Wednesday morning, the fog striated in the sky, layered like paint in varying thickness on the canvas of an abstract painting. The sky wrote a beautiful note to my soul that morning,
told me to slow down, settle into what you love about writing and painting and do what is you, not anyone else.
A friend later surprised me with what she’d been seeing in me.
“With your painting -it is beautifully abstract-it does not have to be “perfect”. I sense you feel that your writing has to be “perfect” whatever that is for writing which trips you up. I see Holy Spirit lovingly pouring what looks like liquid gold over and into your mind. I feel that as you continue to explore God’s unconditional love for you. His words are going to flow out of you.” K.
My friend’s response to the question that wears me out (and probably others).
Should I just paint and not write?
If you’re still reading, you may be tired of this old weary question.
Me too. ME TOO!
I stopped by the gallery of a friend. If you’re anywhere near Augusta, Georgia, you must stop in to CANDL on Broad Street. The photographer and curator, Drake White is someone I described as just “happening upon me and my art”. I am honored to have been photographed by him.
I committed to seeing the current exhibit of the acclaimed artist, Ed Rice on the final night of the show and so I drove over yesterday evening, scurrying into the gallery without an umbrella in the sprinkling rain.
I was greeted by two gentleman, one an artist and the other Mr. White. Fascinated by the works, I commented on the emotion of the subjects, not people, rather 18th century dolls.
Still, I decided one was demure and another had been “harmed”.
I was introduced to the other artist with words about three things…
I stood quietly and accepted the kind commentary of me.
The me I’d been losing, sort of like a “mission creep” in creative endeavors seeking to be known.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”
Isaiah 30:15 NLT
I hadn’t lost my faith; but, maybe I was losing “faith in me” as in the Holy Spirit answering in the most unexpected ways and quietly, a ripple of wisdom that barely changes the stream.
Involving others as teachers, as witnesses of you.
For the sake of you.
For goodness sake and to contribute to the question…with the surest and sweetest answer.
Faith, writing and art, Lisa Anne…for the goodness of others, share my goodness in you.
Is there a place you’ve ventured away from what is for you?
Are you missing the goodness because of grabbing for grander?
Pay attention to what others notice in you and be reminded by a certain little phrase my granddaughter is quite proud of saying…
“Oh, my goodness!” Elizabeth
Oh…my goodness, yes.
Continue and believe
thank you for being here.