Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Art Center ......... And More

I enjoy the two hour "Make and Take It" offered by the Indianapolis Art Center. I have learned printmaking, silk screening and studied famous artists during these programs.

For Christmas last year, I asked to take two classes, one in early March and the other in late April. I attended the March 4, class on silk screening, but the April class was canceled because of the covid virus.

When I arrived in the printmaking studio, I watched women enter in groups of two, find a seat at the table and wait for the teacher. "Everyone is here with a friend except me," I moaned, always sensitive to pairings in social settings.  Finally, the last person enrolled, walked in by herself.

The instructor described the process of silk screening. She suggested we form groups of two and get an apron from the rack hanging along one of the classroom walls.

"You won't have to worry about ink on your clothes with these sturdy aprons," she commented.

The person who came by herself, walked by my stool, and asked, "Would you like an apron?"

Startled, I replied, "Yes, thank you." She walked over and returned with two aprons made of canvas splattered with the paint of many previous projects. I took a picture of my apron and wished I knew the stories of people who wore it and what they made. I realized I was going to add another layer of paint and another story, with the screening I planned to do.

"Would you like to work together?" I asked.

"Sure, my name is Heidi," she replied. "I'm Jacquie" and off we went to get two sack cloth towels and claim a station with a pad and roller.

Heidi was quiet. I was old enough to be her mother, but we easily got into a steady rhythm of applying paint to the pad, then layering the cloth, finally moving the roller to make the imprint.

Heidi and I chose the same color ink, medium green and dark blue and the same sayings for our towels, "Lettuce Give Thanks" underneath a picture of a large head of lettuce, and "Be Grateful" on a picture of a hand-held grater.

We worked together all evening talking, and screening our towels.

We were almost finished, when Heidi said, "I feel calm next to you."

I wasn't expecting such a deep thought and replied, "I am glad you do."

We finished our work and continued talking long after the other participants left. I discovered she was a counselor at the school where my oldest daughter used to teach.  Walking out of the art center to our cars, we said good-bye, with a hope to see each other again in another class.

I admired her honesty and wondered if there was a reason for her comment. I was thankful to provide a calm presence for two hours and pray she carried my energy home.

We never know how our manner will come across to a stranger.

Lord in your mercy, thank you for helping me be a calming presence to Heidi.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Love - Project Transformation

The following reflection is based on my experience with an organization called Project Transformation, held every June and July in a downtown church to help children maintain reading proficiency over the sumer. I have participated the past two years, but because of the covid virus books were taken to children's homes and families were encouraged to listen to their child/children read. The reflection is from my interaction with a young student in July, 2019. Project Transformation is one of my favorite ministries.

Love (Mark 10:13-14)

When I was growing up, few books were in our home. A small bookcase held my father's books from college and graduate school. I received my first book on my sixth birthday from a colleague of my father's. I went to the library for the first time when I was 13. My mother considered reading a waste of time and I never saw my mother or father read.

When I heard of Project Transformation, I knew I wanted to volunteer. My lack of books from childhood, generated compassion for children who also may not have books available or someone to read to them.

I have read with children who were eager to come and others who did not want to come with me. Despite their feelings, I used the 45 minutes to get to know them, boost their confidence as individuals and readers, and listen to each child read. A lot of love can be poured into a child in 45 minutes.

One day I read with an eleven-year-old boy. I asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. He replied without hesitation, "I want to serve in the military." I said, "You will be a great soldier. You can do whatever you want to do in life." He smiled and nodded his head.

He was an excellent reader with good comprehension. When our time ended, I ask, "Do you remember what I told you a few minutes ago?" He grinned and said, "I can do anything I want to do." I confirmed, "I want you to carry those words with you always." He answered, "I will."

Although I never worked with him again during the summer, I pray those words of belief and encouragement will stay with him.

Prayer: God when we work with your children, help us pour your love into each one. Amen.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

A Prayer for Today

God, can you lace my heart with your love,

So I feel you coming in and out during the day,

Bringing comfort and strength, when I am weak and discouraged,

Or joy and peace when I celebrate?

Your presence is in all. Amen.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Pandemic Prayerbook

Friends - The link I gave for the Pandemic Prayerbook did not go through. Google the information below to take you to the prayerbook

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Pandemic Prayerbook Pandemic Prayerbook

Friends - Mike and I recently contributed to the Pandemic Prayerbook, a collection of prayers for individual aspects of the current pandemic. Prayers are for medical professionals, those experiencing disappointment of special occasions, individuals in nursing homes, journalists, and many others.

Click on the above link to read these prayers. I hope you will find comfort and peace from words contributed by 30 writers.

Peace to all in these times which are challenging. Seek God always.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

More Prayers for These Days

Recently, Mike and I were asked to write a prayer for an aspect of the corona virus, social isolation, etc.  I chose to write a prayer about those experiencing disappointment during this time - my prayer will appear next week.

Mike chose to write a prayer for journalists.

                                           A Prayer for Journalists

O Lord, our God, we know that after creating our world, you looked out on all that you had created and declared it was good. That story begins our Bible, a book filled with stories about you continuing to work in our world through your people.

Since then, we have been story tellers. We tell stories to describe our world, to report on events all around us, to let others know what people are doing and how that might affect us and others.

In  our times, journalists serve as story tellers. They tell us about our world, our nationour state, our community, our neighbors. In doing so, Lord, they help us keep informed and connected. Their stories open your world to us, tell us about people, both near to and far from us, about events all over the world, about our institutions and their activities. We benefit from these stories and how they impact us and others.

As we know, and as you know, O Lord, our journalists perform valuable work for us. They update us, as well as bringing us new stories about which we need to know. We need their stories even more in the trying times in which we now find ourselves.

So, we lift all journalists in prayer as they continue to perform the work they perform. Give them clarity of vision, necessary knowledge and insight, a commitment to being truthful about what they report, a fearlessness in dealing with what can be difficult and even situations and the people involved in those situations who may not want their stories told. Give them an awareness of their own opinions and biases and how to keep these in check as they report their stories. Above all, may they remember that the people about whom they report are human beings, are your children, all of them, even those whom they may not like, or whose actions may be reprehensible to them.

We also know, O Lord, that many discount and disrespect journalists and their work, accusing them of under minding our country, our leaders and institutions. That can make it difficult for journalists as they do their jobs. Help them keep on task and do the best they can in their reporting their stories that help keep us informed.

We thank you, O Lord, for journalists and the work they do. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Prayers for these days

I will be posting a few prayers for these times of unique living. I pray you will find comfort and insight and most importantly feel God with you.

God you are creating everyday when we see new blossoms on flowers amd changes in the sky. You create in us too as we have experiences bringing new insights and thoughts. Open our heartto share your love with others. Amen.