[drawings and observations]

[drawings and observations]

A weekend was spent at a retreat with the church board.

We got together in a small lovely wooden cottage in a village called Voropayevo and after putting our stuff to the rooms where we stayed, gathered downstairs to listen and share. Scott, one of our new missionaries, was the speaker for the weekend.

Passing around crayons (that his two daughters graciously let us use for the weekend:) and paper, he asked each one of us to draw a picture of where we spiritually are at the moment, how we feel.

Everyone set to work.

I contemplated the task before me, the clean white sheet of paper in my hands.

“Where am I, Lord?” I asked Him inaudibly. It seems as if that is one of the most frequent question I ask God lately. (Along with, “What is going on?”)

The crayons in my hands made me feel like I was a kid again.

In the air.

That’s how I feel.

But as I drew the picture of myself in the air, I remembered something from my childhood. Having memories from way back when you were a kid is a useful thing sometimes.

My aunt was an artist and she didn’t mind giving me hints on how to draw.

Back when I was about 4 years old, still in kindergarten, I loved drawing nature. I realize now that most of my drawings were the same, but I guess I wanted to perfect my technique. Oh the things we realize once we get older. But that’s a different topic.

The thing was… the way I usually drew it, earth was an inch-thick line at the bottom of the page and the sky… was an inch-thick line at the top of the page.

There was a lot of white space between the heaven and earth. I filled it up with mountains, with birds, and everything. But the sky remained an inch-thick line at the top.

When I drew myself “in the air” a couple of days ago, I remembered a dialogue between my aunt and me and the question she asked me 22 years ago.

“Zee, what’s that blue thing at the top?”

“That’s the sky.”

“Come here, look out the window. What do you see?”

“Earth, grass, trees, houses, sky.”

“Where does the sky start? Is it only above our heads or…?”

“Oh! It starts where the earth ends!”

That was my first lesson on horizons.

The sky in my drawing at the retreat was Heaven, the place where God supposedly lives (I know He doesn’t live in the sky, but that’s still the traditional way of thinking about it.)

So as I looked at my drawing, I realized that I was not, in fact, simply in the air.

I was already on my way to Heaven.

Perhaps I was not far off the Earth yet, but I definitely wasn’t stuck in some vacuum.

I was with Him already, His heavens surrounding me.

Just like in the prayer of St. Patrick that my mom reads with her congregation every Sunday morning as she leads them in worship:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

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