This post is heavily edited from the original.
Today we had our church’s monthly 24 hours of prayer. We get to sign up for one hour sessions.
I managed to get four sessions. I wanted the peace that usually comes from prayer.
Usually comes. Today I left feeling as heavy as when I started.
Worked on a picture on the wall there. Jesus as an ordinary guy... a carpenter. He’s using a chisel to notch out a large beam. I’ve drawn him slightly larger than life. His eyes down, looking at His work, making clear, sharp edges so it will fit another beam. He is wearing a sort of apron, nothing authentic, I just made it up, but it has a couple of pockets. in one pocket the handle of another chisel is barely seen. In another, four large nails.
I’m doing my usual thing, creating the image out of writing prayers and scripture. Slightly new technique though. I'm overlapping the writing where I want it to create darker areas instead of simply writing smaller. The effect has a little more control for color, but less detail. I think it's better.
I wrote stuff I do not wish to discuss here... but I know no one will be able to read it as it is written and rewritten and even I can't make out what is there once it gets covered a couple of times.
So, it will be our secret, OK? The picture is a little nicer than usual, and more personal. This time I know that when a year rolls 'round and it gets repainted, I will feel a greater sense of relief in covering it over. And hopefully it will be at a time when all this current mess is behind me and it will indeed be a new beginning.
Folks will wonder why I would want to paint it over, try to convince me I shouldn't. I will smile inside, knowing intimate prayers have been offered, received, and wiped clean again.
This is a tough time in my life. I believe that when that picture is painted over this coming year, this this challenge will be behind me. One way or another.
I’d like to sit and watch the Carpenter work. I’d like to be in that casual space of His workspace, the time before He began His ministry.
Right now, that is the Jesus I seek in my prayers. The guy who shaped things out of wood. I’m willing to let Him shape me now.