We all have interesting stories and histories. And by interesting, I mean, out of “the norm”, those experiences which have in some ways defined who we are, yet are far from where we wanted to be or desire to be.
When I started studying Art at university over 14 years ago my intention was to create art that would speak to people about God. How and in what way that was to happen I had no idea. My grandiose intentions, and at the time what I felt were limited skills, were overrun by a tremendous desire to learn.
One day I sat down to draw during my summer holidays after my first full year working as a teacher. A series of drawings started to emerge which explored imagery, expression, and feeling and as I drew God started providing bible verses for them. I thought, this is the beginning of God speaking to others through my work and then at that moment He turned my artwork back at me.
This artwork got me thinking about familiar traits I had experienced over the years, some actual and others perceived, often depending on my age and understanding, but there was one defining thing that had left deep furrows in my journey.
It is the single most destructive word and action I know. My experiences with this and the fear that it leaves in its wake are soul destroying for the recipient of that anger. And the one angered on a whole different level. This is one of those things that I did not want in my life, because I didn’t want to be anything like those that embodied this behaviour.
James 1: 19-20 “You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.”
This artwork emerged on the page as just a yelling face with a tongue that spewed out to filled the landscape. James 1:19-20 made it a significant game changer in my journey. I had spent so many years running from the anger I didn’t want to consume my life or be like, that I actually became that which I did not want to be. I was learning that I needed to face it and almost embrace the things that I feared the most so that I could understand where they came from and how I was affected by them and so I could be free from them.
It has been a liberating journey, and one that is not over, but you have to start somewhere and the best place is being honest with yourself.
I choose to be free. How about you?