My sweet, very good looking Pastor husband, Robert, says “Kathleen talks and thinks in negative space”. When he first said this I knew he was correct. I think and talk in the same method as I plan a painting.
I meticulously lay out the negative space, the white space in my paintings. This is the space where the purpose, the focal point is not, the space where your eye can rest and then wander back into the painting.
Now thinking a bit more and a bit deeper about this – Even as a child I surmised that everything in the painting, that is not the focal point is the negative space. And the negative space becomes the supporting evidence of the purpose of the painting.
I was about 13 when I first heard the gospel. I desperately wanted the relief that people talked about experiencing when they accepted Christ as Lord. I began the journey of implementing this new knowledge into my life. I was 22 before I had teachers in my life that began to inspire me to read the Bible and to allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life. For me it was not the magic of the sinners prayer, it was the line upon line precept upon precept that allowed me to make changes in my life, but I remained human. Now as a Christian, trying with all my mite to do the right things I proceeded to experience life in ways that I think mirror Job and his heartbreaks and losses at the hand of satan. I was a very unhappy person, holding fast to a love for Christ but not walking in Christ’s love for me.
I then made a conscious effort to turn my life around. I made the decision to wake every morning, reach my hand out to Jesus and tell Him I wanted to walk in the garden with him.
This was when I began to live consistent with my purpose and let my day-to-day life be the supporting evidence to my purpose: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
I began to paint each day while I walked and talked with Jesus. Each day, a new day, a new garden, a new experience of Christ love and each painting included a deeply experienced time of coming away, of being still in the presence of my Lord and Savior.
When I invite people to learn to watercolor paint from me, I teach them to paint, but one of the results is that people learn to become quiet and be still for a bit. This is not something that happens in the American culture unless you individually allow it, it is an act of your will. Knowing how to do this is not easy, but it happens as you learn to watercolor paint from me. I believe when the Holy Spirit called me to teach people to paint with this method that I was being called to share daily devotions the same as Frances J. Roberts in her devotional Come Away My Beloved, and Sarah Young with Jesus Calling and many other writers of daily devotions.
For me, and maybe for you to turn your life around, to experience the everlasting love of Christ you need something to do with your hands to learn to, Be still and know God, as intended in Psalms 46:10.
Come learn to paint flowers and birds and trees and seeds and insects that live in the garden and see if you find yourself walking with your Lord in the garden that you have now learned to paint.
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Kathleen McElwaine to learn more visit my website kmcelwaine.com