Tag Archives: Book of James

Prayer and the Creative Process


“View from Stephanart Studio” DS


The one thing I’ve learned is to always keep moving. Never let it all drop. Always be doing something for your project, even if it’s printing it out and crossing out words and writing in other words, or writing a plan. Stay in motion. Give it something.

Contemporary writer Alex Leslie

An unfinished painting stands facing the wall in the Stephanart Studio. The artist has not painted for months now. Her fear has been that in her angst to continue the work she will ruin it. Her work was interrupted by life and she lost the vision for its completion.

It had stood central on the easel for weeks while the sketchbook drawing was enlarged and redone on the 36” x 24” canvas. The foreground and background were thinly painted in. Three telephone poles had been erected in the image and Easter colours chosen for their completion but never applied. Their starkness in the landscape mirrored the artist’s wilderness experience of late.

Just now, in the middle of the night, after all this time technical ideas came to its creator. Shapes and colours floated through her dream. An inner excitement drew her to record it here. She will go out to the studio, unlock the door, and restore the work’s place on the easel.

The day before, the artist had received a visit from a colleague who had prayed for her to forgive a past hurt and for creative work to continue. An oppression has lifted. Inspiration is this odd, this ad hoc. The work stops, the work starts again – so frustratingly simple, so complex and profound. Who is this great God who calls and equips us to create, to forgive, to live inside the real work of art that is this world? Who is she that her work can be disrupted by her inner life, by her outer life? Why was her call answered so quickly when others are not?

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous [person] availeth much.

Book of James


Snapping at Others


A grad bouquet from a friend


Yesterday, I snapped an angry response to my husband’s joking around at the red-bouqueted breakfast table. First I justified my response to myself: it is not funny, I am tired, overworked, and my favourite, I need some personal space. Then I got up and left the white table and went to the yellow ‘room of my own’.

Of course, there, I was confronted by myself and reminded of God. While reading e-mail, it was not long before I felt an inner twist, a shifting of attitude, a response of regret. This is not who I am, I whispered. I gave myself a cooling off period of daily ablutions. I wish I could say that I prayed. I slowly walked down the hall to where my long-suffering spouse sat reading. My tone was properly humble as I braced myself for sarcasm. I’m sorry I snapped at you, I said. He replied a simple, that’s OK, and smiled. We kissed then. Is this God’s daily bread of grace?

Today, as I reflect back on the last 24 hours, I see that worry has crept in, and busyness has overtaken my soul. As I have worked toward graduation, I had seen the edge of burnout and want to retreat. It is time for some self-care. I wonder how first to practice what I preach, again.

Confess your faults to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

Book of James