Receptive Soil #BibleJournaling

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Jesus’ parables are full of artsy drawables. Yet, when I contemplated journaling the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:11-15), illustrations of the old fashioned process of sowing grain and it falling into the literal destinations named in the parable seemed like avoiding the issue somehow. And so I asked myself, what would examples of unfruitful and fruitful soil be in my life?

That’s what I tried to portray on this page. The gold oval-shaped image in the middle is a grain of wheat. Where will it find receptive soil? Social media; preoccupation with news; involvement in sports; focus on money; interaction with friends; attending church; the whirlwind of mental stress, worry, fear and anxiety; clothes and all they imply of absorption with personal appearance and image; Bible study?

Simplistic, I know, but the passage and trying to illustrate it made me think again of my day to day life and how much of it may be unreceptive soil.

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I prepared this page with gesso before doing the art work, then used brush markers and pencil crayons to do the coloring. The grain of wheat is colored with an acrylic marker (gold). The gesso worked great—there was no bleed through with the brush markers that usually seriously mark the back side of paper much thicker than Bible pages.

March prompt: wind

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windWhat’s the saying for March–“In like a lamb, out like a lion,” or “In like a lion, out like a lamb”?  The implication is that March is a windy month.

Wind is no stranger to the Bible. It is mentioned for the first time in Genesis 8:1 when God sent a wind to help dry the earth after the flood. Many hapless Bible characters were lashed with wind in storms–Jonah for example (Jonah 1:4),  the disciples and Jesus (Mark 4:37-38), and Paul (Acts 27:14-15).

Wind also played a part in dreams and miracles. Pharaoh’s dream about Egypt’s future contained a blighting east wind (Genesis 41:23,27). An east wind also brought the plague of locusts on Egypt about 400 years later, while a west wind blew them away (Exodus 10:13,19). And a strong east wind opened the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross after they exited Egypt and were pursued by Pharaoh (Exodus 14:21-22).

Not all the winds in the Bible are of the natural variety. Who of us hasn’t pondered the beautiful 3rd chapter of John where Jesus, talking to Nicodemus, used wind as a metaphor for those born of the Spirit?

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” – John 3:8.

How appropriate, then, that the coming of the Spirit on the disciples was with the sound of “a rushing mighty wind” – Acts 2:2.

This month’s writing challenge is to write about wind.

For fiction writers:

Write a story in which a physical wind is part of the setting, or a part of one of the character’s fears or memories. Or perhaps one of your characters will come in contact with the wind of the Spirit.

For non-fiction writers:

Research wind and write a piece explaining how it works scientifically.
Or write about a personal experience with wind.

For poets:

Write a poem about wind from either the physical, or spiritual perspective, or both. Perhaps you’ll write about the desiccating east wind of a dry time in your life, the buffeting wind of trial, the cool breeze of relief after hot trouble, or the wonderful calm of silence after the wind has ceased. As an added challenge, try to use words that communicate the sound and feeling of wind (onomatopoeia).