Monday, July 6, 2009
We started a new series "Canvas" at church Sunday. It will run for the next three weeks. During the series the church has purchased an 8x4 (Yeah it's huge!) piece of canvas and set it on an easel to the right of the stage. There it sits spotlighted for the entire service. During the Praise and Worship, which lasts about 20 minutes at the beginning of service we have an artist come out and paint on the canvas, very abstract. We have three services for a total of three artists. No one knows what the outcome will be, not even the artists themselves. They are letting the message and God drive them towards the end result each Sunday. What I have yet to say is, I am one of those artists. I paint during the second service at 11 am. Yesterday was the first day and it was fabulous! I have been intensely praying about this project ever since I was asked to come on board last week. This was a spur of the moment idea our Pastor had so the artists were chosen at last minute. I have been painting for 13 years. I have been an artist for as long as I can remember, and I have never had the experience that I had yesterday with my art. This is a lot of firsts for me. It is my first time to paint in front of a LIVE audience. I thought I would be so nervous. But actually I prayed for peace and did God ever give it to me!!! It was like the audience wasn't there at all. It was me and my Savior and the music! Everything else just seemed to fall away. I was in my element. It just felt really comfortable for me. It was my first time to paint with other artists. Although we are not painting at the same time, we are building off of each other's work, which was liberating for me. I was a nervous wreck about it. I was so afraid of painting over someone else's work. But that isn't what we are doing at all. We are building on something. Layers upon layers. After the first artist was finished yesterday morning, someone had already offered a lot of money for the piece, and it was just a base coat! How awesome is that!! The church is going to auction it off when we are finished. I think if it goes at a good price we should do several. We are wanting to build a new building for our church, since we are growing so fast. I think that would be an awesome way to raise money and contribute towards that goal. It was also my first time to paint to Wojo. Wojo is our Pastor's best friend from Vegas. Him and his family are visiting from Vegas. Wojo performed the opening song. It was so easy to paint to him!! I could not have asked for a better opening!! I feed off of music when I do my art, and man did he have something to feed off of! He opened with acoustic and I loved it!!!! Wojo is this great big man covered in tattoos with curly hair. Our Pastor met him at a church out in Vegas when they lived there for a short period of time. I met Wojo for the very first time Saturday night at our Pastor's house for our Youth 4th of July celebration. How to describe Wojo.....hmmmm. You know how you meet someone and they look like they could kill someone, just have enormous strength, but wouldn't hurt a fly?? Okay that is Wojo. Not to mention he has the coolest name ever. Like seriously...I am thinking future baby name here. Seriously. On meeting him, I instantly felt the kindness of his spirit. He is just so peaceful. We stood together behind the curtain waiting to go out for the service yesterday morning. I noticed you can just feel his spirit. He is a man of God. Very amazing. I heard so much positive feedback about his performance yesterday!! People were saying they wished he would move here and be our Praise and Worship Leader. It is so awesome to be able to paint LIVE for the first time ever while listening to him play for the FIRST time ever. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! I have been praying over this series. I have prayed that God comes through me onto the canvas. The point is to realize God is the artist in our lives, painting an amazing masterpiece. I had been praying so hard for everyone in the audience to get something out of this. What I had not realized was what I was going to get out of it. God is doing amazing works in my life. He is the GRAND ARTIST and my life is the paint. How breathtaking is that?? Yesterday before I went out, as I stood behind the curtain with Wojo, I started coughing. Coughing a lot. Sometimes when I get anxious I cough. I know it sounds crazy but it is true. I just said this quick two second prayer in my head, God please, not now. Countdown was up, I come around the corner of the curtain and positioned myself in front of the canvas, a metaphor for our lives. I picked up a paint brush and grabbed my rag and began. Instantly the itching in my chest dissolved. God answered my prayer. What seemed like such a small prayer to so many, is such a big prayer for me. How often do I close my eyes, and say God, please, not now. But when the coughing stopped only seconds before I walked out, it was like God whispered deep into my chest, "Yes, Summer, now." Not now for coughing, not now for hospitals, not now for being sick, but instead now for painting, now for worship, now for serving, now for peace. I have learned with every stop in this life there is a go. A stop to be sick and a go to be well. I must say that I do believe that I am going to take away from this experience more than I ever imagined. God is the artist of my life. He is in control, and how awesome is that!!!!