I painted for a Women’s Worship Night at CityChurch recently. It was a chance for the ladies to intentionally connect with God and each other before the holiday madness began.
I set up my easel and paints in a back corner of the fellowship hall, as my heart fluttered with anticipation at what God might do. It just wasn’t like Him to leave us empty-handed. He always seems so eager to speak to someone…to encourage…or to reveal more of His love and glory. Even though I’ve grown to expect Him to move in some way, it’s still a little like Christmas Day when He does!
Worship began, and the all-female voices sounded so delicate and light as they sang of God’s faithfulness. I’m pretty sure that’s gotta be one of God’s favorite sounds of all time…and it was such a lovely setting in which to paint. It just seemed to flow effortlessly from my heart, through the paint brush, onto the canvas.
The worship time seemed to be over in a blink, and I was asked to come share about the painting I’d done.
It wasn’t complicated:
A brick wall. Someone feels boxed in or like they’ve been beating their head against a brick wall, and they can’t seem to break through. But God sees beyond the wall. He sees the beauty of the wide open pasture. So He’s broken through the bricks and created a way of escape from the things that have us imprisoned. Some of us have already made our way through and have landed in a tree to rest, but we’re stuck there. Our resting place has become a snare for us…because ultimately God intends for us to soar!
That was it. Nothing earth-shattering.
I went back to my corner of the room as the Prayer Team began ministering to the women in the room. Only to turn around and see my new friend Patrice Gopo standing there with notebook in hand. She nervously shared that during worship, she had spent her time writing out something that God had put on her heart. I could tell she was stunned. You see, she was in the other back corner of the room…she had no idea what I was painting until I got up in front of the group to share. And as she read aloud to me, I couldn’t help but weep. It was so God. So crazy-unbelievable-perfectly-woven-together-couldn’t-be-anything-BUT God…and He obviously had something on His mind.
Here is what she had written in her notebook:
I remember what it felt like to soar with the wind piercing my back, the sky wide open before me, the power infused from You as my wings cut through the air. I don’t remember first one wall, then the next and next and next. I don’t remember the roof placed atop the cage, the sharp blade of the scissors that cut the tip of my wing, a breath of down and feathers against the ground. But I remember the prison, the darkness, the inability to move, and I remember the hot tears spilled on the cold ground. Were they mine or were they Yours? But I also remember Your hand brushing those steel walls aside. Nothing but paper to You. I remember Your hand reaching down, scooping me up and pushing my brokenness towards the sky, the wind piercing my back just as it should be.
So beautiful, the way God had simultaneously woven together imagery and words so heavy with intent. So like Him to deliver them so delicately to His cherished ones that night.
How about you? Are there areas in life where you feel like you’re beating your head against a brick wall? Do you feel entrapped…like you’ll never get free? Do not fear…God has made a way of escape for you. He sees beyond the wall. He sees you soaring in the great wide open with the wind piercing your back…just as it should be.
That’s it. The simple truth. Pretty earth-shattering, if you ask me.
God is just so good.