Art as Spiritual Practice

{So honored to welcome Christine, author of A Year of Art Journaling, to this space!}

We put boxes around our spiritual life, and then expect God to come, sit and be still. We schedule quiet times, work our way through Bible plans, sing our hymns and worship songs, and do all of the “supposed-to” stuff of faith. And yet with all of these good things, we may be missing something profound – an experience of the Spirit so deep that it doesn’t respond to a script.

Color and image have become that experience for me.

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Art Journal Page by Christine Hiester

Years ago depression took my joy, and it took my god. I say god with a small “g” because the god of my boxed-in faith was nowhere near as big and recklessly beautiful as the God who has shown Himself to me over and over again since then, in all sorts of creative ways.

In the midst of this darkness, I began to pour out onto a page in my very first art journal, and over the last few years the Lord has spoken kindness and love over me, using paint and torn paper as salve for my wounds.

He healed me. And the vehicle he used was art journaling.

So what does a spiritual art practice look like?

It looks a lot like letting go, and peeling back, and exposing self, and allowing the Holy Spirit to wind His way through thoughts and feelings. It looks like Jesus’ parables in technicolor or a sliver of God’s glory captured as if through a tiny knothole in a wooden fence. I liken this creative practice to the flow of God washing down from Heaven, filling me and then spilling over onto the page.

Sometimes it’s an image that Jesus plants in me during a song or a sermon, or a metaphoric fragment of scripture, or a color that won’t let me go. One thing can become a page, and I just let it come.

Art Journal Page by Christine Hiester

There is no formula, there is only grace and Presence and permission. I open my life as prayer, and He enters.

What are the spiritual creative practices that God uses to speak to you?

{You can visit Christine at her blog, Bare Branch Blooming and connect with her on Instagram @FruitNSeason.}img003

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