How are you?
When my spiritual director asked me these words a few months ago I was perplexed with moments bursting with forehead wrinkling confusion. At the time I was struggling with awareness of being given in abundance by our God. Grateful 100%, but confused too — why are there so many without homes, food or any of the basic things each human should need (especially during the strict lockdown we journeyed through in Auckland)? I have so much, I wanted to open up my home, to share, and to care especially for our most vulnerable… The Spanish phrase “Mi casa es su casa” (my house is your house) was my mantra.
Matthew 22: 36-40 played like a song in my heart. Through this scripture passage, Jesus reminds me that my/our call is to firstly love God, but also to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. As the tune continued to play in the form of prayer I began to wonder, who is my neighbour? Are we separate or are we connected?
I started to draw….
Eventually, with conversations, time and prayer the drawing progressed. Through the process, it was like riding the confusion train to a station called awareness, full of surprising scenery along the way. An old Jewish proverb and Psalm 139 has stayed with me through the etching too: "Before every person, there marches an angel proclaiming, ‘Behold, the image of God"... we are all wonderfully made (Psalm 139).
I now realise I’m not only called to love my neighbour/s as I wish to be loved but to love my neighbour knowing that we are one. It seems to me that God created us out of love and is in love with us all. Entitlement, expectation or competition will cause my greatest sin(movement away from God). We are connected — all created by God... Mi casa es su casa! God, help me to love as you love us.
I hope this new etching connects us with joy and curiosity and reminds us that our God is love (1 John 4:8) and as the Trinity is God is in love with us all...
Questions for reflection:
1. What separates me from God?
2. Can I imagine that angel holding a sign while proclaiming "behold the image of God" before every person and every created being I encounter on my daily journey?
3. Who / What would I least like to welcome?
Samples of connected scripture:
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth... God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." Genesis 1:1, 31
"In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.” ~ Job 12:10
"He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate-bringing forth food from the earth.” ~ Psalm 104:10-14
"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.” ~ Psalm 139
"He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.” ~ Colossians 1:17
"Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.” ~ Matthew 6:26-29
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight." Luke 12:6; cf. Matthew 10:29
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” ~ Matthew 22: 36-40
>> Discover more 'wonderfully made' inspired bird illustrations via a new design project for NCRS HERE
> View Connection #23 linked with this image
Watch a 30 second time-lapse below showing the artwork coming together
+ images showing experimentation with depth and details as the project progressed...
> Discover more 'wonderfully made' inspired bird illustrations via a new design project for NCRS HERE
> View Connection #23 linked with this image