I’ve been painting lately. All because a few weeks ago I decorated a basic birthday cake. Applying the icing reminded me of painting with a palette knife. Although cake decorating seems like something I could really get good at, I don’t really feel the desire to bake right now. I went deep into Pinterest world looking at cakes that had the most beautiful color palettes and looked like sculpted dimensional paintings. It seemed like such a random source of inspiration but sometimes this is how the Lord breaks me out of my box, one inspiration crumb at a time. I am always curious when He plays this game with me, so I followed the first crumb. Even though I don’t have time to pick up another hobby, that day I went to get paint and canvases and began to paint. Just like most of my creative projects, my first attempt did not make me feel like a pro. I was super awkward. I hated what I did, but ignored the disappointment that comes with that and kept going. Thankfully acrylic paint dries fast, so I began to paint over it. That is when I artistically “hit” something; I felt that feeling land in my gut as I saw the layers, the color over color, the texture, come together into something very unique. NOW I think I have something! I just really needed to keep going, keep painting and changing it until it looked like something I thought was awesome.
The isolation of this current season began to close in shortly after and the time that I have craved to explore something creative opened up. As I continue to paint, it has begun to open something in my heart that feels like a key to something really good in my life now and for the future. At the least, it is a seed that will grow. In fact, I have already started to see it grow with more creative ideas; so many, I’m actually annoying myself. I am encouraged for the church in this same way for this season. I believe that the space created here is an opportunity for many of us to receive creative ideas or “seeds” inspired by God that will grow into something our family, friends and the world will benefit from for many many years.
So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.
For those living in fear, pain, and suffering, I pray peace and healing. Believing that peace and healing will come, I also look to the future when we can hug each other again and continue our lives. My soul rests, as daily demands I secretly craved would just stop for a minute have paused. At no other time in my lifetime has it felt like a forced pause on life, a mandatory reset. This will create a new normal for us. Everyone is included and we are truly more than ever in it together. We are bearing each other’s burdens and we’re each fighting this in our own way. There is a picture in this of what it looks like to be unified as the Body. This is what we’re here for and made for as believers. We are showing the world what He looks like right now.
In the midst of the fear and chaos around us, these times are not void of beauty. I’ve seen the generosity of business and people in incredible ways. People are getting so creative, the world will never be the same in a good way! For every negative story of human behavior, there are many more stories of people rising with kindness, love and generosity, which is the Kingdom. Because He works it for His good, this reset will work for our good. If we partner with the Lord, our new normal will indeed be very very good. The Lord is painting us into something GOOD.
We have never had a time like this to reconnect to the Lord, reconnect to our inherent creativity [every single person is creative btw] or connect to our family, friends and churches in a whole new way. The ways we do things as a church and society will be shifted forever. He is the master at taking what is meant for evil and turning it for good. I’m not sure what it will look like, but something about what the Lord wants to do in us and through us as a church for the world is the kind of adventure that I live for. Unlike my painting method, He already knows what He wants us to look like, and He keeps painting us for His purpose. I am ready for Him to do what He wants to do in me and with me! Are you?
I believe something beautiful and powerful will come out of the time we find ourselves in. It will feel awkward at first just like my first attempt back at painting. Here and now there is space and grace for all of these things. In the season beyond this, the new ideas, new creativity, new businesses, new innovations that come out of the church are some of the good things the Lord is working for us. Follow the inspiration the Lord is giving you, even if it’s a crumb, even if you doubt it’s anything at all; it’s a seed that will quickly grow for the next season and beyond. The world will never be the same because He is changing us and growing us right now for His good and designed purposes. NOW, that is something!
Written by Sarah Pharo
Sarah is a dreamer, filled with imaginative creativity who has been working in creative fields as lead designer for over 15 years. Her artwork is passionate but her greatest passion by far is Jesus, the Church and seeing His mission lived out in the lives of all she encounters. She is currently one of the lead designers at GrooveLife, who’s purpose is to “serve people, inspire adventure, and reflect God. She is also a proud plant mom to 237 varieties of green things.