Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Watching the Seasons Change

Thank God. A perceptible difference. A change. Dare I say, epiphany? More like spiritual Spring. All the little bits and pieces of my life are coming together. After a winter of nearly fifteen years, poetry is returning. I am painting again. I have stopped struggling after perfection. I have found that there is a growing place of ease in me.

What has made the difference? Willingness to trust God. A wise woman prayed with me (see Listening 3/12/2005). She asked if I had forgiven God...for the pain in my life, for disappointments, for a long life of depression, for inherited pain, for loss of career, for financial instability. I have so often felt angry with God, and known that was okay, but had never imagined "forgiving God." The irony being of course, that it is not God who needs my forgiveness, but I who need to forgive in order to be free from bitterness and the hold of the past. Inwardly then, I was resenting God. Trust in God and love of God were impossible. Commitment without loving trust, a long winter indeed.

So now I can claim what I think God has been creating in me all along. My world is not the macrocosm, but the microcosm. Not the public stage, but the private page. My vocation is to conceive and birth Beauty.

After nearly three years of trying to paint a large canvas landscape of a vast valley in Nunavit, I found myself painting a small card, and capturing the sense of this place in miniature. Similarly, I sketched the vast frozen space of lake Simcoe, the distant huts, the racing vehicles. With a few strokes, the essence was there, in a tiny picture no bigger than my hand. It takes a measure of trust to let these tokens go out into the world. Their insignificance is both their strength and a metaphor of Creator God's attention to detail, and grace at work in me.

So too, prayer is opening. I have let go of the striving to make my prayers conform to what I think I have been taught. I am trusting that God has placed a prayerful heart at the core of my being, and that God's Spirit prays within me. I give myself over to this praying...a jumble of faces and situations, intentions and longings. Why should my prayer life be any more linear than my left brained thought life?

There is holiness as I watch the river. I accept that deep winter is slowly turning to spring. I watch the seasons change and hold up the ever changing world to the One who never changes, who loves me when I cannot love back, who trusts me even when I cannot trust, who has placed his seal on me from the beginning of time, who knows my calling when I cannot hear it, and waits with me through a long winter for the discovery of spring.

Poem to follow in next post.


steph said...

Dearest Connie - you never were created as a paint by number, structured person were you! This post is a dance, a prayer, a breathing of the sacred from within.
There is such joy, anticipation, hope and passion flowing in your words.
I am eager to read more.

Connie said...

Nope. Never could manage to paint or pray by numbers. Thanks Steph.

Sue said...

Wow. I don't really have the words to express what's inside. Just sitting here smiling, and feeling lighter for you. Beautiful. I love what you said about prayer...a jumble of faces, situations, thoughts, etc. I too am not a very linear person, and I have started to accept that my prayers won't be either. If the Spirit really is in us, praying on our behalf, then my innermost thoughts, images, pictures are all prayers....offered up whenever and wherever. I have started praying in pictures and images and sometimes that is closer to expressing my heart than any words possibly could. It's great to "hear" from you today. Miss you, my friend.

bobbie said...

oh connie, this is good news indeed! i have waited until i had time to soak in your words, and soak i did! hurray!

i have a commission for you, if you are willing. the only thing my husband misses of canada is 'the shield' - your area holds a dear, dear place in his heart.

if you are so moved any time in the next few months to do a small painting of a lake or a muskoka like landscape i would love to give it to him as a gift.

it is also his love for that area that brings me hope that one day i will be able to see dawsonwood cottage in all it's glory!

love you - so glad things are falling into place for you dear friend!