Painting and Partnership

When I was eight years old my mother, who was attending a parent-teacher conference, was cornered by one of my teachers. “Mrs. Andrews”, she said, “I want to show you this wall of artwork the children have done”. Walking over towards it, the teacher asked “can you pick out which one is Lisa’s”? Mom studied the wall for a moment and pointed to one. “Yes, that’s right!”. The conversation then went into the teacher explaining how she had noticed that I had a talent for art, and she wanted to challenge my parents to encourage me in that direction.

Old Bedford School House

It wasn’t long afterwards that I was signed up for private art lessons, and I’ve been painting ever since! My youngest brother also has a talent for art, as well as one of my cousins. I’m pretty sure it came from our grandmother. For me, it became an outlet that I truly enjoy.

For a while, art lessons were held at the old Bedford school house and I connected well with the teacher there. Most of my foundations in painting came from her as she patiently worked with me to bring out my talent and help me transfer what I was seeing in my head onto the canvas.

When she was no longer available to teach, my parents located another teacher in another part of town, an older gentleman who had absolutely no patience with me. He would tell me what my painting needed or was missing, and rather than waiting for me to attempt what he was instructing, would often grab the brush out of my hand and just do it for me. Seeing what was in his head come out on my canvas, I felt like the painting was no longer my own creation. Fortunately he didn’t last long, and I eventually landed with Mrs. Bellinghausen, who became my teacher until I was about 15.

The other day as I was working on my latest painting I plan to title “Morning Revelations” (which some of you may know currently as “Masquerade“), I began thinking of the art teacher who had no patience. I compared him to my first art teacher who was willing to bring out what was in me as opposed to imposing her vision onto mine (the way he had). Then I began thanking the Holy Spirit for that teacher. I wish I could remember her name. She not only taught me the foundations of art, inadvertently she taught me what it meant to partner rather than impose. A lesson that has stayed with me.

As I was dwelling on this with the Holy Spirit, He brought to mind the way He chooses to partner rather than impose as well. Can you imagine how much easier it would be, both for Him and for us, if He were just to impose all that both He and we needed? It sounds ideal (lazily convenient), but it wouldn’t take us very long to begin to squirm and resist the imposition. How very smart and loving for Him to allow us to choose and create on our own, and partner with us in the process of bringing out all that He has created us to be. We get to be part of the creative process!

The Lord might ask, but He will never force us to do anything against our will. The path we choose in this life is our very own, and the life we live in the process is one of our own creation. If we are willing, He will provide the guidance we need to bring out of us all that we envision and deeply long for onto the canvas of our lives. I posted another article recently called Resonate that mentions how we can be forced to “oscillate”, forced to be something we were never created to be, forced to give our glory away to another who does not deserve it. This article ties in well with that one.

Are you tired of searching for peace and contentment? Do you feel you have been let down over and over again in your quest to find truth? Do you often wonder who you really are, or what you were truly created to accomplish? Jesus says “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30). He is real, He is everlasting, and He can be trusted not to steal your brush away from you as you create.


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