it was long ago, but the telling brought tears to her eyes

a memory of long ago….

Our church had just expanded with the addition of a new sanctuary, one that was airy and light and full of new spaces to decorate.  A friend and I became a team to design and paint large panels of gauzy fabric that would hang during the Lenten season. She and I worked on the panels in her art room at the middle school.  It was a delightful time.  We sketched a design, figured out how to outline it on the sheer fabric and experimented to find the right shades of paint.  We talked about our children, similar in age, and our careers as teachers.  We talked about our beliefs and our passions.  It was a spiritual experience both of us will never forget.

The panels hung that year and we heard whispers of disappointment from others in the congregation.  The following year, additions had been made to the panels totally changing their appearance. We were both hurt and withdrew from being active artists in the church setting.

Until now.  It has been a long time but we are stepping forward again.

There is art that is a spiritual experience for those viewing it.  And there is art that becomes a spiritual experience for those creating it. Does it have to be both just because it hangs in a church?

Saying more would be saying less.

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3 responses to “it was long ago, but the telling brought tears to her eyes

  • Jaana

    Amazing! Such wisdom and insight into spiritual life. Creating, designing, observing and enjoying–they are all part of the journey. Thank you for sharing yours.

  • pamela hodges

    Thank you for sharing your story. “Whispers of disappointment,” have touched me. Your art was your creation, a gift to God. Worshiping Jesus with your talent.
    The panels should not have been added to by anyone other than the artists themselves.
    And what great artists when commissioned don’t take into consideration the desire of the church? When Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel he probably made an angel a little fatter if Pope Julius II asked him to. But I doubt anyone else would have been allowed to paint over his work after him.
    Creating art for a committee or for a congregation to admire or condemn is a brave undertaking.
    I want to see what you and your friend create. I applaud your bravery and admire your courage.

  • fireflytrails

    I am sorry for the hurt – and I am so glad you are stepping forward again. Your church – and your own heart – will be blessed by this!

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