言の葉ひらひら - Wordy Leaves Dancing

「はじめに言葉があった」
"In the beginning was the Word."

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Building a picture

2008-02-23 | leaves on ART


About a month ago, we had a week of prayer at our school. As a Christian school, we have a week of prayer every semester with a guest speaker or student speakers. This time, kids were on fire and it kind of reminded me of ec07.(Friends from ec, how have you been?) Anyway, our speaker was Nicki, an artist about the same age as I, came with 24/7 prayer room project. (Check this out - These are not what we had exactly, but they give you the idea, eh?) I learned a lot and was really stimulated by this arty lady. She says that we tend to use same senses over and over in traditional churches as we worship. For instance, listening to sermons and singing hymns, only our sense of hearing is occupied, but not others. (Well, they use power-point and more visual aids these days, but you know what I mean.) So we should awaken other senses to know God and to worship Him, that was the idea. So building prayer rooms was one way to get other senses involved. Students and people from the community brought stuff and worked on this project together for about a week. The church is walking distance from my apartment, so I brought in quite a bit of stuff. It must have been like this for Israelites when they were building a tabernacle, I thought, walking with lamps and cushions.

Now, let me walk you through our prayer room. As you open the door, you’ll see a stop sign right in from of you. This is where you confess your sins on a sheet of paper and through it away. Next to the door is the addiction board, a collage from magazines with seductive and addictive images in this world. Put a duck tape over them and ask the Lord to control our desires. (Lord, help us!) Over there is the artists’ table with art supplies – pastel, paints and paintbrush - where your prayer may be turned into a picture. Next to that is the intercessory prayer space with a small water fountain and candles. Write people’s initials on a pebble or light a candle as you pray for someone. Quite a solitary place. On a given world map, you can stick PostIt on countries you wish to pray for. (Saw quite a few prayers for Japan.) Around the clock near by were signs that said, “In every XX seconds, XX children with AIDS pass away.” “In every XX seconds...” Makes you think, doesn’t it? And there’s a corner with an old rugged cross for you to nail you name on. And there’s a space for you to read the Bible; a space for you to keep a prayer journal; a space for kids. Look around, the whole wall is covered with papers, open to public for prayers to be written and drawn. Curtains and dividers hanging from ceiling, each section warmly lit by lamps, the floor full of rugs and cushions, nature sounds of rain and ocean filling the air – It’s a really cozy place. (No shoes allowed here. So it feels like home to me, being Japanese, of course.) On the weekend, we had students sign up for the lock-in all-night prayer sessions. They prayed in this room in different ways, in different styles. Some got a little too comfortable and dozed off. (Sounds like me? No! I was the one to go around waking them up so that a chain of prayers won’t be broken.)

For the Sabbath School that weekend, we got our hands dirty on the community art. Nicki showed me lots of pictures from her church and my creative juice started flowing! We tossed ideas back and forth and came up with an intercessory word picture idea. We handed lists to students who came for the project. On marked lines, we prayerfully wrote down all the students’ and staffs’ names on the cardboards with markers. (We ran out of names, so we wrote our friends’ and family’s names too. Your name might be on there too!) For shading, we wrote prayers for these people in pencils and smudged them. Once those nine squire pieces of cardboard were put together, a big image of crucified Jesus’ face appeared. We hang it over the stairways in our school. (As you see on the top.) Kids were looking at it as they passed by. “Your name is on there too,” I tell them. “Really? Where?” they go looking. Making community art is pretty interesting, I must say. Before, I’d probably have gotten frustrated like, “It’s not how it’s supposed to be here!” and “Oh, it’s a little crooked over there,” but imperfection and crookedness don’t bother me anymore – I actually enjoy them. They add characters. By the way, I’m supposed to do another art project with kids for tomorrow’s Sabbath School. Surfing through internet with words like "worship art", "community art", my juice was squeezed again today. You’ll see. Coming soon to A Tree of Words.

Speaking of ec07 (a conference for Japanese Christians), I remember that I did participate in a community art there. Young Christian artist Yufu, she put colored papers together into a huge rainbow. Each piece was filled with prayers by individual attendees. That was pretty cool. Looking way, way back, my elementary school teacher assigned each of us to color a squire piece of paper, then assembled them into a huge picture of heaven. I’d always remember that. An artwork that depicts an individual’s artistic talent is sure notable, but a community art project made with many hands is treasurable. There is something about it, I feel the special power from it that one-man-made artwork doesn’t have. When I connect everyone’s handworks together, I am filled with I-wonder-how-it-will-turn-out kind of excitement. Building a body of Christ with us Christians, God must be having the same sort of fun too.
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rejuve2002@yahoo.com (Nicki)
2008-12-05 23:45:20
This blog is so beautiful! Your words are very inspiring and encouraging. Thanks for inviting me to teach creative worship art - it is so rewarding. Glad you are on the journey too.

love
Nicki
i Believe!
Hi Nicki ! (kuriks)
2008-12-08 03:32:09
Thank you for visiting my blog & leaving a comment, Nicki! I'm gonna try to add more English entries! I want more English speaking/reading people to come & visit here...

Ever since you came, I've been learning about worship art more and more. This is exciting - getting to know God and making Him known thru art, loving Someone thru something I love to do. Keep in touch! You inspire me :)

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