“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”
Through many inspiring people and books, God has been able to awaken me to my life’s true calling. One of the best and life changing books I’ve ever read is called “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldridge. Although it’s not a book about creating art, it drastically changed my view about it. It is all about the value of women in God’s kingdom, while reminding us how important men are as well. Surprisingly this validating book has opened my “artistic eyes”.
The authors define what makes a woman’s heart’s come alive and teaches about our core desires. Even if we aren’t aware of it:
The part about how important beauty is in our lives, went especially deep for me. It was revealed to me that beauty is restorative and refreshing and it is no mistake that God has placed beauty in creation everywhere. A quote from “Captivating” is: “Creation is primarily beautiful, not primarily functional.” I think of sunsets, fields of flowers, the northern lights. Glass wing butterflies, painted chameleons, crashing waves. There is so much beauty in creation that it validates beauty itself. This tells me that it isn’t frivolous or an afterthought, but instead, a necessity to enjoy a full and healthy life.
Another truth is, that beauty also comforts. In the book, John says that in the worst times of our lives, only beauty helps. That is why when someone dies, all we can do is send flowers. I know this too well as at the beginning of this year, my dear father passed away. In my grief and sadness, the one thing that eased the pain was to stand on a beach near my home. I gazed at the stillness of a reflection of the sky in a tide pool glistening on the sand and it calmed me in the way no words could. It made me feel as though eventually things will be alright and that the Lord still has good things in store. It reminded me of this scripture:
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.” Psalms 19:1-4
The memory of the stillness and beauty of that particular day still calms my sad heart, and I don’t feel alone in my grief.
Over the last few years I’ve attended two different “nature and hearing God” retreats for women. The Lord spoke to me clearly many times while journaling to Him in a quiet, beautiful place. He has healed many emotional things from my past in those times with Him. Since experiencing so much of God’s healing, I have been inspired to get out in nature, and to revel in God’s comfort every chance I get. I feel as though God is romancing me there, reminding me of a song my Great grandma sang when I was a little girl. It explains a little of how I feel now when I’m in nature on my own with the Lord.
“I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses... and He walks with me and He talks with me... and He tells me I am His own. And the joy that we share as we tarry there... none other has ever known.”
The fruit of this is that I’m continually bursting with a desire to show people what I have found. I am incredibly passionate about capturing His created beauty and then painting it on canvas. Which speaks to another core desire of wanting to be part of a larger story. There are many things in life to cause distress and anxiety but I want to be part of the solution and add refreshment to people’s lives. I want to point everyone to our generous creator God who is constantly pouring out His refreshment and His lavish love upon us. Like it is said in another of my favourite scriptures:
"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
Until I read John and Stasi’s book, I tended not to spend a lot of time outdoors on my own. I gave most of my attention to the practical needs of life and I didn’t allow myself to seek out enjoyment in nature. My thoughts were similar about art. Although I enjoyed creating sketches and art projects when I was growing up, as an adult I thought art was was an extravagance and only for the very wealthy. I rarely allowed myself to go to art galleries or spend time creating art. So even though God had put the desire in me to be an artist at a young age, later on I doubted it was possible. My beliefs about these things has now completely changed, and for the last 7 years, I’ve been working towards becoming a full time artist. I am convinced that beauty is valuable, restorative, healing, and necessary. I can’t help but seek connection with the Lord in this beautiful planet he has given us and to create artistic works that He inspires me to create.
I pray that the Lord is touching your heart and inspiring you to meet Him in His creation. I also pray that He reminds you that He speaks quite loudly through beauty and that He wants to connect with you through it too.
I would like to share my latest time lapse video of a painting I call: “Out of The Darkness”. So many times I see metaphors while painting. This one reminds me that darkness cannot extinguish the light and that light actually shows up beautifully in the darkest of places. If you’d like to see the works that I have created with God’s help you can see them on my youtube, instagram and website.
Lori Morris - Guest Blogger
Here you will find a mix of encouraging and inspirational articles written from members within the Community of Christian Creatives.