Outside of work I have not been painting as much lately, but spending this season, honestly getting inspired by faith-filled Youtubers and learning how they hear God, and spending the past few months trying to get to know the true nature of God - like finding a "new" face of His that is personal and unique for me at my point in my journey - and trying to listen to the Holy Spirit and wait on Him.
Just finding God in the odd places that you might not generally prescribe to where God can reside. But, it really isn't our place to prescribe this - the Spirit moves wherever He wishes and how exciting a journey that becomes for us as we are pulled along it!
I am finding new layers to what God is saying in the symbolism of His Universe and works. Here are some of the thoughts I have sat with the past months:
1) It has nothing to do with the quality of the work for the Holy Spirit to have an impact with it. The Holy Spirit can use anything for His Purpose. All we have to do is say 'Yes' like the Magnificat and allow Him to come into our situation. Literally thinking or saying to words with that intent. Just an unspoken feeling of intent for the Holy Spirit to go ham, if you will. And then you start to feel movements of peace and desire to do new things!
A Caravaggio painting can move us less than a 4 year old's drawing if the Holy Spirit is working through that 4 year old's picture to move us to tears in a more intense way.
2) Why doesn't the Holy Spirit always work in us? Is it not a given? The Holy Spirit is so tender so gentle. Never pushing. Jesus is gentle and tender never pushing. He is shaking, trembling with love of You as he waits for You. So great is his desire to run to us in a moment, but in a moment of unrequited love for us there he waits trembling with a desire to run to us and kiss us - take us in embrace - but will not if we are not interested. Like in healthy, loving, self-sacrificing human relationships that don't force themselves on others.
But at the moment we desire for Him to come He Rushes towards us and runs and runs till he is holding us in the most tender of embraces. And He will never let go unless you decide No again. But he will forever love you one way or another.
3) The thing that makes learning from God different from divination, Tarot card readings is that speaking with God is about a relationship with Him. It's not about pulling in knowledge from random spirits but speaking to God as a lover and friend and listening to loving things He shares with you that are always apt and meeting you just where you need to be met.
Anything that applies to how humans approach relationships applies to God!
4) I used to not understand that God wants us to ask for things and help. I didn't see it as particularly necessary to sit and wait and talk to God as if He really exists. But then, I had some things I wanted and needed so bad, and could not get any help from the world, that I got pulled onto a journey in which God was revealed to be the one to save and lead.
A Lent or two ago I decided I would sit down every day and read the Bible for 20 mins a day. Not just a single verse but sitting with and reading through pages of the Bible. Being patient with it and give importance to it like I did with painting.
I came into the Psalms and started praying with them and singing praises to God - just going on going because I gave myself that 20 minutes to fill with whatever in the Bible - and then I decided 'Why not- let me ask for the Gift of Tongues'. I had been feeling overwhelmed by what to pray for and I wanted an advocate - that was the word on my heart and that is another word for the Holy Spirit - to pray on my behalf because I felt so hounded and without help, if that makes sense. I had asked for it on and off over the past year and didn't receive it but as I was reading aloud praises to God I got emotional and then suddenly my words rushed out in another language - the Gift of Tongues - in that particular and special place of just sitting with God and pushing through the discomfort of doing nothing if that makes sense? And also, meaning it, when asking for it. Like I wanted it so I asked as if I meant it and was speaking to a friend. It had nothing to do with saying a particular word but responding to God's leading and meaning the words I was led to.
5) Praying to God starts with a place of honesty. It doesn't matter what that is. What is weighing you down no matter how disturbing or embarrassing or insignificant it may seem - that is exactly the thing Jesus wants you to tell Him about. When you start there, in that space of honesty, it gives Him the opportunity to heal the wound. Because He is a Physician who won't scare or violate you by jerking your arm out to bandage it and heal it He just waits for You to share it instead. He is trembling with a desire to reach out and help but would never if you do not wish it. He is the truest friend and lover.
So even if we can't see Him physically in human form we are invited to treat Him as if He exists - in the depths of our hearts we are crying for a Savior and someone to worship so we know He does exist!
6) You have to ask for the things the Holy Spirit inspires you with because He will never force Himself upon You. And, it doesn't have to do with straining to find the "right" words to ask but rather the words that God is inviting you to say.
The Holy Spirit moves through us. We feel Him passing. That helps guide us. We are physical as well as spiritual and we are the physical home that Holy Spirit can rest in. And rests in and wherever He likes! Let Him surprise you!! He moves again and again in new and new ways every day.