“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:
Won’t you join me on the dance floor today? This is going to take some artistic license and creative choreography, but I hope you will join me with open mind, heart and eyes.
When I first watched this dance to Luminus on So You Think You Can Dance (2015), I was immediately taken with what I saw as the image of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three dancers dancing and creating together in unity and beauty. Let me describe what I see in this dance. You can follow along with the times throughout the video indicated.
To set the stage, Derek Piquette (left) represents God the Father, Gaby Diaz (middle) dances the Holy Spirit, and Moises Parra (floor) represents Christ. From the very beginning of the dance, we see three persons from one God. The smoke creates an ethereal mist and the stars an image of space and time being created. Just as the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the earth so too do they (0:33) as the three work together to create all of earth and mankind. Then God steps forward as the Great I AM (0:35+), Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Next the Holy Spirit steps forward (0:42+) bringing artistry to the Tabernacle through the Spirit-filled artist Bezalel, the gifts of the Israelite people, and the worship of the Levites, revealing the beauty of God (0:49). Then as they dance in unison, we see them working together to demonstrate God’s faithfulness and sovereignty throughout the history of his people.Continue reading
Oh, visit the earth,
ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers,
fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden.
Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields,
soak the dirt clods
With rainfall as harrow and rake
bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor,
scatter rose petals down your paths,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals.
Set the hills to dancing,
Dress the canyon walls with live sheep,
a drape of flax across the valleys.
Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
Oh, oh, let them sing! (Psalm 65:9-13 MSG)
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)