This collage has been hanging above my computer in my home office since the day I moved in. It has given me focus all year as I meditated with each of the phrases and images. It has helped me hear the Spirit’s wisdom, and remember who I am and who I’ve been called to be as your Regional Presbyter.
In Houston, I participated in a number of spirituality visioning groups led by my friend and colleague, the Rev. Pat Clark. Her work with us focused on listening through our right brains by using images and journalling. Over the years I had made a number of these collages. We’d spend an hour or two contemplating a Bible verse or phrase, paging through magazines and cutting out the images and words that seemed to capture our attention or imagination, and glueing them to our poster board. Every time I made a collage I felt captivated by the aura of kindergarten. As the group of us worked together we’d laugh at pictures, make snarky comments, share pictures with each other and just play together with a childlike spontaneity. And after our artwork was completed, we shared our creations with each other with a sense of gratitude and curiosity … What truths, what insights, what imaginings would these collages reveal to us in the coming weeks and months? Each collage was the focal point of our group work and homework for two to three months as we journaled, prayed, met regularly, and let the Spirit speak to us.
This collage was specifically designed as I prepared to begin my work with you. Pat called our group together just before I left to make one more collage. Most of the images are mine; they were chosen because, intuitively, I felt they had something to say about my call here. Others were chosen by each of the other members of my group, as a gift, as a remembrance, as a blessing. And, over the year, they spoke to me, quietly and persistently … reminding me of the call that brought me here, keeping me grounded and focused during some very “weighty” times.
It’s important, especially during times of great change or of crisis, to balance the weightiness with whimsical play, with quiet, with curiosity, and with a smile … trusting that God has so much more yet to reveal to us if we look, listen, and wonder.