Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Jackson Pollock Painting

I'm not a fan of Jackson Pollock's art.  It's way too out there for me.  But I was thinking about myself, my personality, my likes/dislikes, my history, what I read, what I listen to, what I think about.  And I realized, I am a Jackson Pollock painting.  I'm a mishmash of colors thrown together, with no discernible rhyme or reason.  A drop of green here, a streak of blue there, dabbles of pink and red and purple and white.

I like jazz music, rock music, bluegrass, Celtic, some country.  I own some bagpipe cd's, for crying out loud.

I read murder mysteries, urban noir, biographies, history, current events, contemporary thought, health and wellness.  I read newspapers, books, magazines, blogs, cereal boxes and nutritional labels.

I dress conservatively, casually, modern, old-fashioned.  I'm just as at home in jeans and sweatshirts as I am in business suits, as I am in khakis and blazers.  I'm LL Bean, Evan Picone, WalMart, and Salvation Army Thrift Store.

My home is decorated in Traditional, Country, Cottage, Mission, Victorian, Romance, Contemporary.

I have an educated slang casual city country vocabulary.

I drink wine, Diet Coke, tap water, spring water, flavored water, black tea, white tea, green tea, herb tea, iced tea, Long Island Iced Tea and the occasional cappuccino.  That's really as far as I've delved in to the coffee world.

I like a clean house; I like a messy house.

I like to ride my bike, walk, hike; I am a couch potato.

I feel happy, sad, angry, encouraged, fearful, confident, excited, disgusted - sometimes all at the same time.

Many biographers and art historians speculate that Pollock suffered bipolar disease, which would explain the mania exhibited in his art.  Some might look at the canvas that is my life and wonder about the Artist that created me, as well. 

No one understands what was going through Pollock's mind as he dripped and tossed paint on canvas.  No one knows what fueled the thoughts and feelings he was trying to display, what emotions he was trying to free from deep within his soul.

I don't really understand what the Artist who created me was/is trying to accomplish.  His Word, His Autobiography says we all were fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14) in His image (Gen 1:27).  However, His art is not from bipolar disease.  He is not manic.  God is quite deliberate in how He proceeds.

One need only look at the history of creation in Genesis to see how carefully He made the earth and all that is within it.  For six straight days, He created a new item, one thing leading to another.  There was nothing random about it.  He separated land and water before He made plants.  He created plants before He created the animals that would eventually feed on those plants. 

As I feel happy, sad, angry, encouraged, fearful, confident, excited, disgusted (sometimes all at the same time), contemplating the "why's?" of my life, I have to step back and see the Artist at work, trusting there is a masterpiece being made that is still in process.  He's dripping points of sad blue on to streaks of boring beige next to lines of hot red through pools of peaceful yellow and green, with some splashes of fun pink and purple tossed in for humor and good measure.

There will be a day when the canvas that is me will be in His  heavenly gallery.  Jesus and I will be viewing the completed  work and I'll understand why that big black drip fell on to that fuschia experience and that it hadn't ruined but enhanced my life.  I need to have faith that the omniscient, omnipotent Artist will complete the good work He began in me (Phil 1:6).  Until that time, I need to watch the Artist wield His brushes, trusting that He has complete and total control.  There is nothing random about His paintings.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name

I've seen where many people seem to resemble their name.  In most cases, these people were named at birth before their personalities had emerged, so it serves to reason that God knew who or what they would become and informed theparents of the proper name before their child came in to being.

Look at Jacob (Supplanter/Trickster) who took his brother's inheritance.  Saul (Responder) who responded to God's call and became Paul (Humble).  John the Baptist (God is gracious).  And then, of course, there's Jesus (God Rescues).

My name is Barbara; it's Greek for Stranger, Foreigner.  Maybe it was set from birth that I would be out of place, lonely.  I don't want to be a stranger anymore.  I'm tired of it.  I want Him to change my name like He did for Jacob who became Israel (God Wrestler).

But to what will He change it?  And when?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jigsaw Puzzle

Each life is like a jigsaw puzzle. Every experience is a piece in that puzzle and we spend our lives matching and piecing those parts together to form the whole of our lives here on earth. In heaven, we get to look at that completed puzzle and understand how all the pieces, all the experiences – good and bad, fit together and appreciate the beauty of the finished product.

In the meantime, however, we have to live through the completion process – twisting and turning the various parts, trying to match them up, endeavoring to make sense of it all. As we get older, bigger chunks form. Or at least, one would think they should or would. But that hasn’t been the case with me.

I have so many individual pieces still unmatched. Despite incredible efforts and prayers I struggle to put these pieces together. After almost fifty years, two or three pieces might have come together, but still there is no discernible image forming. I just have lots of small, seemingly pointless chunks sitting on the table, waiting to be assembled and identified, their purpose known.

I wait.  Sometimes patiently.  More often, not.  But still, I wait.  I won't abandon the puzzle, but I surely wish it would come together soon.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Decision Making Questions

What criteria do You use to determine which prayers You'll answer, and which ones You'll refuse?
Why do You answer my quick requests to find my lost car keys, but deny my desperate pleas for bigger things?
Are You looking for certain words, certain arguments, certain actions?
What am I doing wrong?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Arthritis of the Heart

I suffer from the chronic illness called loneliness.

Like arthritis, I wake some days symptom-free.  Most days, however, it's slow going; but eventually, once I get moving, the aches and pains subside.

But some days, the pain is downright debilitating.  Every movement, every word, every experience is a stabbing reminder of my alone-ness.  The pain is unbearable, making me wish for a quick and easy end.

There is no cure.  There are no emotional anti-inflmatories to take.  I just have to ride out the waves of pain.  But I anxiously, impatiently and hopefully wait for heaven, where there will be no more pain, no more tears, no more suffering.