February 25, 2009

Art and Body Gifting

I've readied some of my needlefelting to take to church today for hanging. I mentioned before that our church is set up with a professional hanging system for art. We have artists within our community and we change out the art periodically.

One of my pieces I'm taking I call either "Community" or "Jesus' Body". Scripture refers to those of us who love God and believe in Jesus, as family, parts of His body. I value that our church values the differing gifts within our body and desires to let these differing gifts be used within our community. So often in churches we only see the giftings of teaching and music, and then of course the helping, serving, administration, encouraging ... are ongoing.

I have a grapevine in my greenhouse. I've posted pictures of it. This last year was the most productive year of all, with clusters hanging at our head level all over. All it takes is basically doing nothing! Yes, I still nurture it with fertilizing and watering, and I do need to cut it back as it tries to take up more of the space than I desire. But I used to prune it back very severely, because I had a book ... I found out that table grapes are not to be pruned like wine grapes.

In fact, the severity of pruning wine grapes looks familiar ... It is the center frame of my picture. All around are the three-dimensional vine, grape clusters, and leaves. In a small group, we had drawn grape vines. Ellen had lots of hidden grape clusters saying that she needed community to help her see her fruit. I have gone through very barren times where I've felt my fruit gobbled up, and if I'm not regularly nourished from the source I will remain fruitless. This piece is a Spring, Easter, seasonal hanging.

My other art piece is made up of three. Because they were inspired from the same time frame of reading and journalling, I just hung them on the same backing. The top I call "Starburst". God said, "Let there be light". Walking in His Truth, His light, I don't fear walking out into the world with it's varying culture. I walk, bringing gleanings back to the light before venturing out again on another ray of light.

The middle piece I call "Crucible". I looked the word up and it's origin means "lamp on a crucifix". To me this means, that in all life brings my way, that in all my choices, if I filter them thru the truth of the cross ... It's a God-consciousness in all I do in my every ordinary days (Extra- ordinary!).

The bottom piece I call "Longings". Henri Nouwen had written, "Longings are doorways thru which we come to God and thru which God comes to us". I've pictured my heart with layers like an onion, restricting and fighting the real me, the God-created-me, in being revealed. If my desire is to live out of my center, I don't have to focus on removing the layers, but focus on having more desires/longings, which would mean more doorways of God and me connecting!

Does this make sense?
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