Finding Lost Dreams with Art Worship

“Sin is more than turning our backs on God, it is turning our backs on LIFE!  Immorality is much more than adultery and dishonesty, it is living drab, colorless, dreary, stale, unimaginative lives.  The greatest enemy of Christianity may be people who say they believe in Jesus but who are no longer astonished and amazed.  Jesus Christ came to rescue us from listlessness as well as lostness; He came to save us from flat souls as well as corrupted souls.  He came to save us from dullness.  Our culture is awash in immorality and drowning in dullness.  We have forgotten how to dance, how to sing, and how to laugh.  We have allowed technology to beat our imaginations into submission and have become tourists rather than travelers.  Television dominates our time, alters our values, numbs us to life in all of its wildness.  We have been stunted by mediocrity.”  Dangerous Wonder by Michael Yaconelli

“Christ is the Dream Giver who wants us to listen to His dream for us so we can run like children in the fields of His grace.  Trouble is, the fields are full of obstacles—obstacles that deafen us to God’s dreams for us and keep us from an adventurous faith.”  Dangerous Wonder by Michael Yaconelli

     The 13-18 year old women that have been attending the after-school and summer programs at Riverwoods Christian Action Center in the Fox Valley of Illinois know what the obstacles are in their lives.  Broken families, trauma, abuse and school counselors who limit their career choices, are just some of their obstacles.  How do we get back to God’s dreams for us?  How do we let go of our desires and get to know God’s desires?  Of course, that answer involves spending time with God and knowing Him better.  When we spend time in His presence, joy comes to us. The arts are one way to slow us down enough to focus on God and to listen to Him.  You don’t have to be an artist to know God as a co-creator of something.  He can speak to us through art and tell us things about ourselves that we were too busy to notice.  By creating an environment in which the girls could focus on God while they did art, they were able to spend time worshipping and listening to God. That is how they could perhaps discover something about their original dreams.  I asked one girl what makes this different than any other art project?  She answered, “We are thinking about God while we do it.”  That is exactly the difference.  Focusing on God is worship.

     I asked if they believed that Jesus could speak to them through art?  We started with prayer, inviting Jesus into the project and each of them asked Him to show them a color.  With this particular art piece, magazines were sorted through looking for that color.  We also chose some of the complimentary of that color.  They were asked not to read just look for color.  After enough was chosen, they were asked to tear out the portions of the color that interested them, and then any words that jumped out at them, explaining that they were allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them.  After those pieces were glued to a backing, other pieces of tissue paper that attracted them were glued over or around what they had, always with joy and fun and playing in mind.  Finally, a table of embellishments were offered to them to add anything that they wanted to their pieces.  The best part is hearing the girls explain what they thought that the Lord might be saying to them.  When their comfort level expands, I would have liked the other girls to comment in a positive way what they felt the Holy Spirit might be saying to their friend.  This was new to them, so we let them keep their work private.  At the end of the project, their confidence was growing and they did not mind others looking at their work.  In the safety of safe community, we can be encouraged and uplifted.  That needs to be assessed on a group by group basis.

     The results were amazing and amazed the girls themselves.  They never thought about asking Jesus about color.  They didn’t realize what some of the words that they had picked out when put together told them a message.  The all- encompassing message of how loved they were by the Creator of the Universe was powerfully felt, achieved through a time of art worship.


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