Sit a child down at a kitchen table with paints, brush and water jar, ask them to paint you a picture and with great delight they will do. Ask them to paint anything and they will, anything at all. Perhaps not with any great skill at all, after all we are not all going to become Picasso’s, or Rembrandts, but paint a picture they will and present it to you with great joy.
So, what holds us back from being a witness of the things we have seen and heard, from being a “witness to the word of God, and to the witness of Jesus Christ (Revn. 1:2. NJB); bearing in mind that we have the Lord’s promise ‘ I am with you always, yes, to the end of time.’
This morning my waking dreams were colourful, of fragmented shards, pieces of stained glass waiting assembly into a window, pieces of jig-saw puzzle waiting to be sorted and placed into the picture. If I were a child, I would not be so anxious that they were all in exactly the right place, I would just make a start, but as a 7 x 7 years, and then a bit adult, I need the picture on the box lid, I need an art/craft class.
Lately, the Lord has been asking me a question:
‘Where are you?’
In my home, sitting by the fire, in the garden, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, in church, around the shops,
‘Where are you’
Sometimes, The Lord asks,
“What are you doing now?”
I must admit, I have answered, at times, ‘Lord you know all things, you know where I am and what I am doing’ and then I will say, ‘I am with you, Lord’
That is the answer, the Lord has been looking for.
Sometimes, when feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, I have cried out to Him that I felt like Jonah swallowed up by the whale, and have felt His smile plumbing the depths to reach me. It is then that I have realised that my grown up self was running away from some simple errand that a child would just have taken on board as an adventure with Daddy.
Every child has heard the story of Jonah.
God said to Jonah, “Up! Go to Nineveh…”
And Jonah ‘set about running from Yahweh’
Finally Jonah prayed, and ‘Yahweh spoke to the fish, which vomited Jonah onto the dry land’
Jonah’s story does not end there, nor even with the repentance of Nineveh, chapter 4 of the book tells us he was very indignant with the Lord, telling his Father to take away his life because his Father had not destroyed that great city of Nineveh as threatened because the King and people had repented. He then sat down just outside the city, after making himself a shelter for shade to see what would happen to it. We are told that Yahweh God ordained that a castor-oil plant should grow up to give him shade and soothe his ill humour, Jonah was delighted with that, but at dawn the next day, God ordained that a worm should attack the caster-oil plant … and it withered. So next day, the scorching east wind and hot sun beat down on Jonah’s head so hard that he begged for death, ‘I might as well be dead as go on living’
Now, isn’t that the childish tantrum to beat all tantrums!
But, hear our Father’s answer,
‘You are concerned for the castor-oil plant which has not cost you any effort and which you did not grow, which came up in a night and has perished in a night. So why should I not be concerned for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?’
Our Father did not fore sake Jonah, He prepared the great fish to rescue him, The word of the Lord which Jonah carried to Nineveh did not fail, it bought salvation to those who Jonah could not see the completed picture … our Father gave him shade from the fierce heat … still Jonah could not see that Lord was with him.
Every time, You ask, ‘Where are you?’
Every time You ask, ‘What are you doing, now?’
Father give me grace to say,
‘I am with the Lord, who is always with me, may I always do as you desire’
Then I looked and saw:
An artist’s brush dipped into a water jar, colouring the clean, clear water with pigment. In my seeing the pigment was crimson red.
I am still thinking and waiting for more insight about that.
If you have any thoughts, please don’t hesitate to comment,
I am currently using the New Jerusalem Bible and all scripture references are from there. The photos are my own. I am very much a child when it comes to photography. Many blessings to all who read this post.