Once again, I was humbled by the response to my invitation to submit prayers for this painting.
Not by the quantity - even though I received over 55 submissions this time! -
but by the depth of sharing within the content,
within the words and sentiment,
the very Heart of the prayers submitted.
This process continues to be difficult to describe -
it is that moving.
It is that full of rich treasure.
I continue to be surprised by the process, by myself within it,
by what is revealed by the simple act of participating.
I come away with so much gratitude and joy
and a charged sense of Faith.
Faith, not hope.
That is what I find and commune with in this process of holding your prayers.
It's better than hope.
It is a river of knowing...
of knowing the compassion that we get to choose to feel
for ourselves and for one another
if we just open up our hearts to the sacred meaning around us
in every facet and every being of our lives (even when it seems not so).
But here's the thing - even when we are not sure of the way,
or where that river leads,
even when we feel so frightful for the vulnerability and risk of being hurt or disappointed,
even when it seems counter-intuitive to do so,
and even when it doesn't seem that there could possibly be anything sacred in a circumstance at all,
we must still muster the Courage to open up to one another and to ourselves,
to open up to the wisdom of our Universe.
For when we do, we are choosing to allow
more and more of our spirit to expand into loving realization,
we are choosing to see the inherent teeter-totter connection of all that is,
and we are bridging the places between one another that seem too separate for understanding,
but that are, in fact, beneath the layers of superficial differences,
One and the same.
Through this gentle sharing of ourselves,
this deliberate surrender to the river beyond hope - the very mysterious Source of this amazing life -
you may find, as I have,
that while in the throes of places that are uncomfortable
or even sometimes unbearable,
we can begin to build and strengthen the only investment in this life
that holds true promise for the needs of the heart...
the muscle of our Faith and Gratitude,
trust in our own still Truths and Resiliency,
and the very Love and Support, for ourselves and from one another,
that we all crave.
I feel there is so much more I could say.
Each painting like this could fill a book with words
if I were to share the layers of awareness and reflections that surface in the process.
From the inclination to paint in the daytime (which I rarely do) to the need to be barefoot,
from the visitor to my studio to the waves of awe that overcame my spirit like a divine lightness,
to the need for many breaks, stretches and deep breaths
as I stepped back from the creative doing in still retreat
and then returned again to the allowing of its flow in voluntary participation;
The stories that accompanied the prayers, the themes that emerge in the collection of them,
and how they would pop into my mind at certain instances of brushstrokes;
The surprise (I can always count on) at what comes forth in the finished painting;
the clarity of my own truth that emerges each time I engage in this process
and, in the stillness of completion, always this - Your Prayers.
If you are unable to view the video for some reason,
or if you just want to see the image again, click HERE.
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You can always contact me via email with any thoughts or questions at all.
and of course, your comments below are so welcome and loved.
There are 3 ways you can share your Prayer Art with others who have participated.
showing or discussing your own Prayer Art & journey
OR, you can join the ongoing flickr group Art of Prayer. There's beginning to be some beautiful sharing there and I would love to have your presence as it grows over time.
OR, you can send me a file of the picture in a message to my facebook page, and I will add it to an Art of Prayer album on the page which will be shared and viewed regularly in the facebook world. :)
It's not too late to participate if you're feeling inspired!!
Thank you all for allowing me the chance to bear witness to You,
and for doing the same for me.