1 Thessalonians 1:5 – For our gospel came unto you not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. (KJV)
Recently, I took a workshop in Chinese brush painting. The supplies required are: Chinese paint brushes, Chinese black ink, 12 watercolours, water, rice paper, a little palate to mix one's paints, some paper or cloth towel and a felt underlay for the rice paper. It also takes a steady hand, skill and practice — first to be able to see the simplicity in the beauty of all that nature lays before us, and then to be able to practice on paper.
For instance, we marvelled at how a morning glory gave itself to us with just five petal forms; or how a leaf leapt to life with three brush strokes of colour, then three ink strokes suggesting a series of veins; or how a line, a half-circle, two wisps of wings and a brush of colour became a beautiful hummingbird.
Now on my morning walks, I see the simplicity of the bushes and flowers with an eye to translating them onto rice paper through the beautiful art of Chinese brush painting.
My walk in faith is the same. While asking the previous devotional editor about something, he suggested I think about writing of the Lord's presence in my everyday life. It was like taking a workshop, for the more I was guided in my writing, the more I was able to see His presence in my life, even or especially through the little things, the simple things, the things that "bring beauty with a few simple strokes of His skilful hand".
Prayer: Our gracious Father, we thank you for the beauty you lay before us and the gifts we are given to appreciate them: our ears that we may hear, our eyes that we may see, our voices that we may relay that beauty through word or song, and the gifts of our talents through art forms, reading, writing, and simply understanding. We thank you, too, for those who guide us that we might see. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.