Updated: Feb 3, 2022
(This post is based on the lesson I taught on the first day of school. The video below was shown before we started the art lesson. Scroll down for photos of students in art class).
Every soul longs for a place to find rest. We each have a longing to feel like we belong and a place to feel loved. We work hard on the outside to portray an image worthy of acceptance.
In the quiet God waits, waiting to meet you at a banqueting table. Imagine the most beautiful table with candles and flowers everywhere. I place that evokes feelings that you are immeasurably cherished and your presence at the table is deeply desired.
Photo credit: Eden Frangipane Photography (Nashville, Tn)
You may be thinking, but God is far off and I can't see Him. I feel the same way. So, I set a banquet table in my own home. I wanted a place to meet with alone with God where He could minister to my heart. I used my own hands to make a beautiful place to meet with God. The empty chairs served as a reminder of my students and anyone that reads this post. I deeply desire that each of you, and my students, find freedom and hope in God's unstoppable and unwavering heart of love.
There was a delightful twist to this table setting! Psalm 23:5 had come to my mind a few months earlier. "He prepares a place for me in the presence of my enemies". This phrase filled my mind with an explosion of inspiration as I envisioned a banquet of art supplies. I placed paper, paint brushes and paint in the place of food and silverware. I prepared a table where I could paint my prayers to God and focus on His amazing love.
A paintbrush looks a little like a spear. Prayer is an important part of spiritual warfare. Water keeps the brush clean. Much like Jesus forgives of our sins and washes our hearts clean when we come to him. I cut the paper into circles to represent God's eternal love and because it reminds me of a ring. He promises to never leave us or forsake us.
One of the most meaningful part of this banquet table, for me, was when I painted the watercolor palettes with gold and wrote hope, faith, love and joy on the outside.
When I created this special day, I really wanted something that looked like a banquet. And I wanted a bigger array of colors for you to choose from. So in place of the 8 pan watercolors, I bought 16 pan watercolors and instead of faith, hope, love and joy on the outside, I painted different names of God on the outside of each watercolor container.
I wanted the room to look as inviting and elegant as possible. Your expressions were well worth all the time I spent preparing. I will always remember how your smiles and looks of curiosity lit up the room.
I pretended I had forgotten something (water). We talked about the importance of water in keeping our brushes clean. In the same way we need daily to repent and ask the Lord to forgive us and cleanse our hearts.
I talked about the fact that your art doesn't have to be perfect! We are all perfectly imperfect! The invitation was made to "paint your prayers with colors".
I am obviously not God, but I enjoy trying to reveal His heart. I told you that I had a surprise hidden in the room. I waited quietly for someone to ask me where I had hidden the surprise. You glanced around the room and couldn't figure out where I had hidden the surprise. I reminded you of the scripture, "Ask and it will be given..." You soon realized that all you had to do was ask! Once one of me where the surprise was, I looked in the direction of the surprise. I had wrapped lights around a vase of flowers to draw attention to the surprise. I loved how delighted each of you were when you found the surprise!
There were trays and tubes of iridescent paints, and not the cheap quality paints! Oh how much fun you had using the special paints. The shimmer was to represent God's presence and love. I let students share what else it might symbolize. I let you know that these were my paints and, similar to God's heart, all that I have is yours to use if only you ask! Much like God desires of us, I asked you to share with each other. Oh, what fun you had!
My precious students, I hope you always remember this day! I will cherish the memories of this day for always! It is my desire that you when you look back, and think about this day, that you are a masterpiece and that you can use the creative process as prayers to God! Keep your hearts clean and remember every art supply you have or use is a gift from God and oh He wants to reveal parts of His heart to you as you create.
To my students:
Thank you for being part of one of my favorite art days ever! I care so much for each one and I absolutely love teaching you and revealing more of God's love to you!