Thursday, September 9, 2010

I like the stars because they remind me to look up.

As I sit under the clear night sky at the steps of St. Paul’s Church, I can’t help but feel like a child in awe. First, the stars are beautiful. I can’t help but walk around with my head looking up at the stars, praying that I don’t ignorantly walk into a tree or a car or a trash can. I also love being in high places, like on a roof or in a tree, looking down.

When I’m sitting above everything looking down on everyone, I realize that no one ever notices me sitting there, even when I feel like I’m so obviously noticeable. People walk and drive by, not even noticing my presence, just because no one ever thinks to look up. I talked to my friend Arley about this the other night (as we were sitting on a roof watching cars drive by) and he said that God probably feels the same way. It makes perfect sense. The sad part is that God is so much more obvious, yet people still don’t realize his presence. He is seen through creation and through his people, yet we are dumb enough to miss even that.

So, here I am sitting at St. Paul’s. I’m reflecting on everything that has happened to me this past year. I’m trying to make sense of it all. I have no idea what God is trying to tell me.

Over the summer, I felt like I was missing out on God. I just couldn’t find him anywhere. It was hard. I tried to seek him, but I just simply wasn’t hearing. I had no idea what he wanted from me. I didn’t have any guidance or direction. I just worked and slept and went to church and went with the flow for 3 months.

But it makes perfect sense. I have a passion for people who are suffering, and I have a passion for art, photography specifically. I have a close friend who had to go through art therapy, and my heart cries for her. Gosh, I love her so much. I met an art therapist that goes to my church back at home who is willing to give me advice and let me watch and see the kind of work she does. In Greenville, I ran into another art therapist and we got to talk about photography, and she told me about Born Into Brothels, a documentary about kids using cameras as therapy. God is placing these people in my life for a reason. This is what I need to be doing.

I talk to my advisor, and he tells me I should switch my major to art and minor in psychology. I change my schedule around, and now I’m an art major and pysch minor, and I love every minute of it. Since being an art major, I feel like I am learning more about myself than about art. I think this is good. I’m realizing my passions, and I’m becoming more and more inspired to be creative. It’s funny. In a way, art is therapeutic to me. By learning to express myself, I am learning who I am, and I am realizing that in the past, photography has had such a positive impact on me, and has helped me get through my own hard times. And more importantly, I am learning to stand in awe of God, our creator.

For the past week I’ve been going on night walks with God each night. Just me and God, and sometimes my camera. It has been amazing, and I am learning oh so much. It started with being in awe of creation. Then, I wept, for those who are suffering. I cried because nothing made sense. I cried because I wasn’t hearing from God. I only could sit there and try to listen, but there was nothing. I star gazed. I got the thrill of a train passing next to me on the train tracks, reminding myself that life is vulnerable. I listened to worship music and walked around the town. I walked around in silence. I sat in silence. And I laid in silence. I became inspired by the stars.

So this is where everything ties together and makes sense. Back to the subject of looking up. I love the stars because they remind me to look up. It is so easy to forget God is right above us. He is all knowing and all loving. And He’s right above us. I don’t want to just look up though. I don’t want to just be aware of his presence. I want to be involved in his presence. This is why I sometimes don’t hear from God, because I am only aware of him, and not engaging myself in him. The more I remind myself to look up (or be aware), the more I want to engage myself in daily consistent prayer. I want to be close to God every minute of every day, not just when I make an effort to have a quiet time. I want others to see God in me. I want to be a light to those who need it. I want to learn more about myself and seek God through art., and use this knowledge to help others do the same.

This is my passion.