A few months ago, I discovered an online publication, “Collected Magazine”. I connected and they connected in reply. The result includes some of my artwork and an interview about my Psalm 23 series. Here’s the link:
Last week, the horizon greeted me like a welcome rescue as I turned to the skinny road from the wider, more busy highway.
Both frustrated by my anxiety over the big white ghost of a Tahoe with headlights like a cat following me closely all the way and determined to breathe and be okay, thumbs on the places 4 and 8.
So, the sun rising wide over my granddaughter’s home?
A whisper, a sigh.
I could go on.
Thoughts rose up from an article or post I’d skimmed over, the question posed,
What is your Gethsemane?
Meaning, I supposed,
What did you ask God not to allow that He did anyway?
At first, I thought, how can we dare to compare our falling apart and asking to be spared with the request of Jesus?
Then, the mental list developed.
And then, another in contrast.
“Things that happened despite the things that happened”.
I turned the ancient wisp of pages to Mark 14 in the Bible with penciled “sermons to self”. Angela, an educator from Bibb County, Ga. added her wisdom and thoughts back in 1937, became mine because of an estate sale.
Curiously, a page is torn down the middle.
I think now of the veil torn in two.
The darkness midday.
The verses that describe Jesus being anointed with a costly ointment by a woman who was chastised is no longer here. Neither, the Lord’s Supper.
The garden scene is preserved, the plea of Jesus face down in broken supplication remains.
And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it be possible, the hour might pass from him. Mark 14:34 , KJV, Oxford
And we know what happened next, the agony, the death and the resurrection.
We know what happened because of and despite the fear in the garden.
What are your “Gethsemane moments”?
What is “scaring you to death”?
Look up, redemption will find you
And, in time pale in comparison to the unwanted anguish.
I cried because the mean old thing called fear has been catching up, wrapping its arms around me like a stranglehold suffocating and silencing my wildest, most wonderful hopes.
I cried a little on the trip to find shelves to organize my paint (again).
Tears that said “not again”.
I’ve been hoping I was wrong about what I giddily decided was just right for right now.
I cried because my jaded conclusions drawn because of past hurts, harms, manipulative grooming and demands is putting me in the corner again.
I’ve been hoping I’ll hear they decided it was not right for me to paint and speak after all.
Then, I can sigh and sit quietly hidden in the identity that is me after all.
Alone and isolated, but safe on my own terms.
So, once the quiet tears stopped on their own, I reread the invitation to be photographed and have my artwork possibly featured with others in a future exhibit.
I reread, researched and respected the questioner, trusted it and him.
I said yes because my tears were not from fear, instead from fear that I may again be trapped in my decision to hide and that would mean
I wouldn’t go on.
It would mean ignoring how far God has brought me and that would be dishonorable.
Dishonoring myself and the one who made me to walk through doors I didn’t even knock on,
“You were not made to cower. You were made to create and to share what you make. You were made to be authentically brave.” me
Why do I write about such things, things like declining invitations because trauma triggers say “stay safe, stay humble, stay nothing, be nothing other than afraid and small”?
Because tears on the way to Target may be sweeter than you think, might be a tender gift.
Good tears, friends, very good.
I write because it helps me see the tears on the way to Target were not sad tears at all, rather than were cleansing, clarity, another swash of the trauma residual slate washed clean.
Tears that say okay, now
Take a breath, check your mascara, dab a little color on your lips.
Take a breath, say a secret prayer.
I assembled the shelves from Target remembering the time I felt so excited. I put the bed frame together for my newly relocated to Colorado son. He’d gone to run some sort of errands, returned to realize I’d done it all wrong.
This son of mine who invited his mama to accompany him cross country, the gift of this will not, does not, has not escaped me.
I lined all my pastels, pencils, watercolor acrylic and oil tubes of paint in their own places and threw the dried up paint away.
Then, I painted.
Not as planned or expected, but I painted.
I’ll paint tomorrow.
I’ll keep on.
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 KJV
“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.
I did the most silly, most powerful thing the other day. I changed the description in my Pinterest profile back to what it was originally.
Powerful? Silly? Yes, both. I edited the words characterizing me as an author and artist and I went back to the grander aspiration.
Lisa Anne Tindal, artist returned to “Artist and writer longing for a little white house near the ocean.”
Longings leading my heart back to me.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 ESV
“Come back, daughter.” my Heavenly Father keeps saying to me.
My Notes app became my diary at the beach, a call to smaller, more lasting things.
Nothing aspirational only thoughts of those around me, my line of thinking, line of prayer meandered from galleries, Italian art tours, and pricing my art in a way that measures its worth not just a sale.
We walked down the quiet street and discovered a white heron, gracious in its stance. The creek was quiet, the bird shaded and shielded by old overgrown cedar limbs as I knelt with a three year old resting against my chest.
I told her I was so happy for this gift, this peace today in a white elegant bird.
So, my prayer because God hears them. If possible and good for us, I’d love to have a seaside house for those I love to gather.
To gather again.
To search for the white bird daily.
To paint on paper bags, be surprised by God again, to be visited by birds and song.
Aspirations so small and mighty.
So settled, not seeking.
So confident of my heart’s desires being known by my very kind Father.
Last weekend, I responded to the question of when I became an artist with the truth of flunking out of college, losing my art scholarship because of hard things and harm and then working hard as a helper of families before, in my 50’s, coming back to art.
There’s truth there, but even more in the realization,
I’ve always been an artist in the very same way I was told “You’ve always been brave.”
I did a powerful silly thing. I changed my Pinterest bio back to the true, although dreamy thing.
To be an artist with a little white house near the ocean.
To gather. To paint.
To search for the white bird with my family.
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15 ESV