Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The story behind the drawing.....

An aspect of the grieving process that people might not think about until they experience it is that you lose different things, according to the various roles that the person played in your life. Besides missing my son, I miss the buddy who went to conferences with me. Duane and I went to several prophetic conferences at MorningStar Ministries in Charlotte, NC (they have since moved to Fort Mill, SC). The first couple of times I went to a MorningStar conference after Duane departed (I rarely use the word “die” because he didn’t die, he left us and went to his home in Heaven), I cried like a baby because he wasn’t there with me. As much as I loved being there, and I was with other friends, it just wasn’t the same.

You might be wondering what a “prophetic conference” is. What I mean by “prophetic” involves how God speaks to people today, and how we can hear what He wants to say to others. Some people believe that God doesn’t do that anymore - that He wrote the Bible and that’s all we need. That’s like saying I’ll write you, my friend or family member, a big long letter saying everything I ever want to say to you, and then I won’t have to talk to you anymore. Does that make any sense? Of course not! God wants to talk to us all the time. Well, really, God is speaking all the time - we just don’t hear him, or we don’t recognize His voice.

Some ways He speaks are through impressions that we get, through fleeting thoughts that come “out of nowhere,” through nature, art, music - well, He can speak through anyone or anything He wants. We saw that He was restoring art to His church. During worship at MorningStar, artists were encouraged to draw whatever impressions they received. Duane often had his sketch book with him, drawing during worship. He did it during our own church services, too. At MorningStar, they would have easels set up, up front, and artists would create drawings as the people worshiped. (You can find MorningStar worship videos on You Tube - Duane’s reaction to MorningStar worship was, “Now that’s church!” Their worship bands are mostly all young people and they play all music styles. They could compete with any contemporary band there is.)

While seated at one conference, Duane drew an image that came to him. As I recall, a man sitting near him saw the drawing and was visibly moved by it, so Duane gave it to him. It spoke to him. The only thing I remember is that part of it was a figure like a human embryo inside of a teardrop. One time during worship at our church, a man and his wife were sharing about friends of theirs who were missionaries in Africa, and about the difficulties they were experiencing. Duane drew what he “saw” inside and it was parched, dry, cracked ground like when there is a famine or drought but to one side was tall grain, like wheat, and in the distance there were thunderclouds. He also wrote something on the back. Duane gave the drawing to the couple, who sent it to their friends in Africa, and they said that God had spoken to them through Duane’s drawing and words.

While at another MorningStar conference, one of Duane’s friends told him a story. He told him about an experience he had where he had experimented with a drug (my memory is that it was only marijuana, although I know that pretty much everyone says there is no harm in that) and he had a bad reaction to it, whatever it was. He was frightened, and afraid to tell his parents about it because he thought he would be in big trouble. So he went to bed, crying out to God for help. He told Duane that suddenly his pillow became like God’s chest and his blankets became like God’s arms wrapped around him, and he felt the love of God like he never had before. Duane immediately said, “I have to go get my sketch book!” And he drew the image that had come to his spirit as he listened to his friend. And that’s the story behind the drawing I call “Safe In Our Heavenly Father’s Arms.”

“The Eternal God is your refuge, and underneath
are the everlasting arms.” Deut. 33:27

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