This weekend I combined three things I love into one...camp, art and my church, Holy Comforter. I helped lead a retreat at Kanuga, an Episcopal retreat center in the mountains of North Carolina. Perfect cool weather and bluegrass music by a lake set the stage for our program about Spiritual Journeys.
I laugh with my church friends, because they tease that if I'm going, they know there's going to be an art project. Some say this with joy and anticipation, others with dread and fear! Our project involved Letterboxing - a treasure hunt of hidden stamps for each person's "passport." And each participant, young and old, made their own stamp to add to a large poster with Psalm 119 -Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
As Mother Amanda so eloquently preached (in English AND in Spanish), though we are people of PLANS, our God is one of PROMISE. I had planned to rest on my retreat. I had planned to paint and sketch in my journal. I had planned to start a new book and walk around the lake and hike up the mountain. I had planned to continue my "30 in 30" with no problem at all.
Instead, I gave my creativity to the weekend, attending to all the details of silly photos, skits, prizes, bingo and letterboxes. Sometimes, as artists, we ask ourselves how our meager offerings can help in a troubled world. I am thankful I got the chance this weekend to share my gifts on the journey.
Though I didn't make any official "art", I'm happy I got to work with glue and ink on my hands and friends by my side. We sang, square-danced, and laughed together. And yes, I did manage to spend some time on the rocking chair porch, that little slice of Heaven, right here in North Carolina.
photos courtesy of fine friend & photographer Tom C. Cooke