Sunday, April 25, 2010

Luke 8:22-25, with paintings

A couple weeks ago I was at a bi-monthly gathering called Encounter: I Am.  Encounter: I Am is basically a bunch of people from a bunch of different denominations and places in life hanging out corporately with Jesus. I've gone a number of times since last semester and it's pretty neat.  Anyhow, as part of the evening we spend some time reflecting in depth on scripture.  The text that week was from Luke 8:22-25.  (Story Time!)
Jesus and his disciples were in a boat crossing the sea.  Jesus was pretty tired after a long day of preaching and caring for people so he laid down to take a nap.  A bunch of his disciples were ex-fishermen, so he was in good hands. However, while Jesus was napping a storm happened.  His disciples freaked out.  Big time freak out. Not only did none of them know how to swim, they were out in the  middle of a lake.  Their belief system had taught them that the kindgom of darkness resided at the bottom of still bodies of water such as lakes.  Not only were they likely to drown, they were going to drown right into the kindgom of darkness.  Not cool.  However, they had been walking with Jesus for awhile and had figured out that he was a pretty cool guy and could do stuff.  So they woke him up.  Now Jesus is awake and the disciples are freaking out. "Jesus!  We're going to drown!  Do you care?  How can you stay asleep?"  (There were 12 probably all 12 of them were talking all at once)  Jesus looks at them and I can just imagine the look in his eyes as he says "Where is your faith?"  Then, being the cool guy that he is, he raises his arms and tells the wind and the waves to be quiet.  Bam!  The storm is over.  We don't read it in Luke, but in one of the other Gospels the words that Jesus says are the same words that he uses when he casts out demons.  I imagine the disciples just looking at each other in awe and wonder...even the wind and the waves obey him....
Anyhow, we spent a lot of time with this passage and asked G-d to show us where we were in the story.  While we were thinking deeply about the story and praying through it, I grabbed an index card from my bag and made a couple sketches, sketches of what the story meant for me.  I sat on them for about a week.  Then I decided to put them to paint.  Here's the results:
(The green on the right says: Lean not on your own understanding; Depend not on your own strength.)
Sometimes life throws us curveballs.  Sometimes there are storms and we are afraid we are going to drown.  Sometimes I don't know how much longer I can keep my head above the water. Sometimes, like the disciples I cry out to Jesus and ask him if he really cares about me, if he cares that I am drowning.  Then I can feel him looking at me and asking me where my faith is and reminding me that I don't need to depend on my own strength.  Then in a display of his power:

Not in my power, not because I want the storm to end, but because Jesus commands the storm to end.  His power ends it all. And in his power I can rest:

(from left to right the text reads:  Rest in ME. I have this all under control.,  My hand is holding you., I will fight for you.,  You are MY girl worth fighting for., I will never let you go.)
No matter what happens, my Jesus is strong enough to end the storm and I can rest in His arms. There might be clouds in the sky, life might get rough, but I don't need to be afraid.  Not ever.  He's got me and I am His girl worth fighting for.

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