Monday, January 10, 2011

walls of my heart

I have so many things to do today....I need to go buy detergent BEFORE I can even begin to tackle the pile of laundry, on my only day off. But this is too important to keep in my own head all must blog.
In my quiet time with God this morning I'm reading some Henri Nouwen another of my most favorite authors,(guess I need to add some of his titles to my recommended reads)and was struck sweetly by his reflections. You see I love art! I love looking, gazing, being inspired by it and just beholding it. Paintings, sculptures,a beautiful chandelier, I love old things, old hardwood floors, old houses they too are like works of art to me. I love paintings of fields and vineyards,the masterpieces of a different kind of artist, farmers. I love knowing the title of a piece of art and learning something of the artist who created it. I dream of visiting Europe some day,so many famous works of art come from there, I imagine it must be such a beautiful place! In my home are walls of art, not priceless masterpieces but art I admire just the same. Pictures that I find comfort me.

The picture here is a wall in my home. My two-year old grandson loves to look at these pictures with me and I love that, I love, when in his two-year old voice, he points and says "this?" then as we look at the picture together we talk about what is in that picture, like this one of George Washington we talk about the horse and the snow and praying. Then he points to the next picture and says again, "this?" And, we talk about how the shepherd dog is calling its Master to help the lost lamb,and then he'll whisper, "this?" and we talk about the men seated next to the farm house. I love these moments no matter how times we repeat them. Its always a sweet quiet time, sometimes we are talking so softly together its just a whisper, as we talk about the paintings, first one then another.
Then as I said, I read Nouwen this morning, "The daily contemplation of the gospel and the attentive repetition of a prayer can both profoundly affect our inner life. Our inner life is like a holy space that needs to be kept in good order and well decorated. Prayer, in whatever form, is the way to make our inner room a place where we can welcome those who search for God. Whenever I meet people during the day, I receive them in my inner room, trusting that the pictures on my walls will guide our meeting. Over the years, many new pictures have appeared on my inner walls. Some show words, some gestures of blessing, forgiveness, reconcilitation, healing. Many show faces: the faces of Jesus and Mary, the faces of Therese of Lisieux. It is very important that our inner room has pictures on its walls, pictures that allow those who enter our lives to have something to look at that tells them where they are and where they are invited to go. Without prayer and contemplation, the walls of our inner room will remain barren, and few will be inspired."
Guess you can see how that probably struck me? I want to have that kind of life, the kind that gives people pictures, I think that's what Jesus did every time he spoke to someone, he drew a picture in their mind of what their heavenly Father is like and what life with Him can be like and...they were always invited and included. I think...the magic happens when the picture moves from our minds to our hearts. Love that!

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