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"the race has been one"

Earlier today I went live on my Facebook page and walked through a Lectio Divina while creating some art. My action from my devotional today was to "Choose something to create... Give your creation to someone you love and tell [them] why you did it. Do everything you can to make the gift beautiful and remarkable so that the person understands that you gave you best effort on [their] behalf."

I chose to work with alcohol inks which I've never used before. I used Yupo paper, which is a glossy material so that the inks don't get sucked up by the paper. I also had leftover ashes from last night's Ash Wednesday service and rosebuds that I've been drying, that my father gave me for Valentine's day. The Lectio Divina scripture today was from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, and we read from the Message version. Even before finishing the first reading, I had heard God's nudges. The words "gold," "race," and "win" stood out to me.

I immediately grabbed the ink with the shade of "rose gold". After I put my first few drops down, I realized I truly had no idea how this medium was going to treat me. I could've gone heavier on the pouring, but I decided to do just a few drops at a time, in order to control and mix the ink. I started with a second color "gunmetal" and began blowing the ink in the opposite direction of the first color. It began to look like a set of lungs, which I thought was appropriate for the text. Winning a race means having good lungs.

After I read the scripture a second time, I began concentrating on the fact that we are 'after the medal that's gold eternally.' And I thought about Jesus dying on the cross for us in order to win that race. So I introduced a third color, "crimson" to represent his sacrifice. This was around the time I first began to sprinkle on some of the leftover ashes, as a remembrance of my own mortality.

I know I read the scripture at least one more time, but honestly, I was really in the zone of this piece and even though I was speaking, my soul was focused on the art I was being moved to shape. Because of this, I decided to add another color to the palette, "celestial blue." This is to represent the Spirit guiding me, and being present with me. The lungs began to fade away as I kept layering and mixing the inks.

I knew I wanted to use the roses somehow, and with them not being 100% dry, I wasn't able to crumble them up. So I decided to use one rosebud as a stamp. I dripped a couple of drops of ink on the bud and stamped around in the background of one side. I liked the way it looked, so I chose the colors of the other side and repeated. I then continued the process of layering inks and blowing them around. Towards the end, I brought in one more color to add a bit of depth called "smolder."

When I felt as if it had taken shape, I sprinkled one more dash of ashes on top of the "crimson" ink. My last decision was to give closure to the piece with a border of all the colors blending into one another. And now it sits to dry.

I have entitled this piece "the race has been one," a play on the word for "won." I also did a little play on words in my sermon title last night "Feed Our Soul." It's not plural for a reason.

We are all connected through the Spirit.

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