Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Blank Canvas

So put yourself in my shoes, I am pretty disconnected on one level from the christian world. The more I feel that way the more I observe the christian world from afar.

After awhile you start to wonder and think about a lot of the stuff you once lived for, you look back and think "what would I do differently?' especially when it comes to leadership etc.. you don't want to be seen as a critic but at the same time distance gives perspective. When you are up close and personal with something you don't really see it clearly.

The more distant you become the more you start to think "how is church truly connecting with the world it is meant to be part of?"

On one level I see many glimmers of hope; churches running schools, coffee shops, climbing walls, etc... The whole emergent church movement, if you can call it a movement?, also gives me hope.

People like Shane Claiborne and Brian McLaren give me hope, their writings inspire and provoke. If we could act out a little of what they suggest the world would be a better place. 

More than Shane and Brian put together, Jesus gives me hope.

Picture a blank canvas.

Picture a set of paints with all the colours you could ever dream of.

Picture a sunny day, with clear skies, the music of your choice playing in the background.

The temperature is perfect for you, you have a nice chilled drink sitting next to you.

Now you paint.

You paint your own version of what church should look like on that canvas.

Try and detach yourself from your history, your churchianity, your comfort zone and your religion, focus on Jesus, think about the lost and then paint; paint like no ones watching, paint with abandon and energy, paint it beautiful and paint it strong. Pour yourself into it, use the colours you like, don't paint in anyone else's lines just paint uninhibited and free.

What would your painting look like?

We've all got painting inside us ready to be painted, no one else can paint it except you.

Are you going to go to your grave with that painting never painted?


sam mooney said...

i feel a paint by numbers quote coming on......

Anonymous said...

You bet I'm going to paint! This is a good assignment for the church.

Brian said...

Yes the last chapter of "Orbitting the Giant Hairball" by Gordon McKenzie has influenced this post. It was also influenced by a time in a prayer room before we came to ibiza, when I opened a journal and there were 2 blank pages. I had a strong impression that God was saying "I'm giving you a blank page" so often we are painting on some else's picture. We need to paint our own.

amy said...

the freedom of having a blank canvas is pretty tough too though.

Tanya Heasley said...

Often in the past I have been asked to help paint a mural or some scene for a play with other artists and I always had problems sharing the blank wall with them because their skill and expression of art isn't the same as mine. I would much rather paint on my own because if it goes wrong, I only have myself to blame.

I now wonder if I have the right attitude, as it can be sometimes better to share with others.

But only sometimes!