“Practicing the Presence” was created for a Healing Care Ministries seminar called The Essentials. The essence of this seminar to help those in caregiving ministries understand how to position people for lasting, healing change, particularly through engaging the right hemisphere of the brain through creative spiritual practices. “Practicing the Presence” was done each morning in lieu of traditional worship. Each day is spent focusing on one member of the Trinity with the following themes: Creator God, Christ our Royal Redeemer, and Holy Spirit, Flame of Love.
Each day we started in silence, which was broken with Lectio Divina. Then participants were released to explore creative prayer stations. Every day, one station included a cross with artwork to create a space where folks could kneel and pray, and another included the coloring pages at two large tables with coloring supplies:
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. ~ Psalm 19:1-4
Grab your coffee and sit back. This Planet Earth film from director Robert Revol is 13 minutes long but as you watch, first, take a moment to consider how marvelously creative God is and second, remember you are made in his creative image! Take in God’s glorious splendor and be amazed!
Love the work of cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg, using film to help people consider the world around them. According to the Moving Art website he is “the only filmmaker in the world who has been shooting time-lapse 24/7 continuously for well over three decade. Schwartzberg is a visual artist breaking barriers, connecting with audiences, and telling stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people and places.”
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me! (Psalm 139:13-18)
Psalm 139 is one of my favorite passages of scripture. It tells of his protective love and covering over us. It reminds us that no matter where we are in life, no matter how far we’ve gone astray, no matter what problems assail us, he is there, and he knows what we’re going through. In the midst of this, we find these verses that again hearken back to the creation narratives found in the very beginning of our Bible. However, instead of the potter and clay image found in Genesis 2, we find another artistic image, that of a textile weaver. This image is also used in Job 10:8–12 as we see God knitting together skin, flesh, bones, and sinew—God as the Master Weaver.
An excerpt from “God’s Creative Gift–Unleashing the Artist in You: Bible Studies to Nurture the Creative Spirit Within.”
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4a)