A preacher preached.
There was no pulpit in a magnificent edifice.
The message was on Faith.
There were no padded pews.
A sinner was saved that day by receiving Christ in her heart.
A light began to grow inside.
But this light could not be contained.
This sinner who was saved by grace began to share by faith what she had heard.
Now, this saint who was lost but is now found began to preach.
There were no stained glass windows or even a gospel choir to sing.
The message was on Deliverance.
A sinner sat in the midst of the congregation.
This sinner knew this preacher a long time ago.
The sinner listened to what the preacher had to say.
A fire burned inside the sinner.
She understood that this message must have come from Almighty God because deliverance came that day.
This sinner made the choice to receive Christ and to live a Christian life.
As this new convert began to grow in grace a message rose up within.
This new saint began to preach the message of Redemption.
She chose to preach to those who were like she was before her salvation.
This preacher was able to relate to those who were apart of her past life.
God’s Word was preached.
God’s Word drew the lost unto Himself.
3 different preachers; 3 different messages.
Each one sent by God; each Word given by God.
© 2013 Jarvette Lowery
Last fall, my husband, David, pulled our car into a lane in front of another car. The driver began tailing us, blowing her horn repeatedly. A glimpse in the side-view mirror revealed a face convulsed in rage and, beside her, a small boy's fearful expression. She continued tailing us, horn blowing, until we turned into our grocery-store parking lot. Then she circled the lot until she found a space directly across from ours. As we entered the store, we turned to see her exit her car and walk along the driver's side of our car. When we returned to our car, we found a long gash that traversed the driver's side from the passenger door to the front of the car. The woman had keyed our car.
I felt sick looking at it. And for months afterward, when my eyes fell on that gash, my gut relived the event again. Why did she do it? Did she think David intentionally cut her off? Did she want something from us that we failed to provide? How was the child who was riding with her?
What to do? How to respond?
Touch-up paint would only cover up the gash and I wanted to transform it. So I bought enamel paint in a range of colors. Starting at the base of the gash, I painted a branch and, sprouting from that branch, leaves. Then I stenciled our mascot, the Spacious Dude, all around the branch like blossoms growing from the tree. Last week, I invited our campers to choose Spacious Dudes and transform them into representations of themselves. Today, the branch sports a host of colorful blossoms. It's funky and, I think, beautiful.
And I'm not done yet: I'll add our name, and we're thinking of going onto the roof with clouds and some flying Dudes. I'd like other A Spacious Place members to be part of our "car art."
What has the experience taught me? That violence is a reality: we all have the capacity for it. Hiding from that fact merely stunts our growthto stay with the branch metaphor. But we can allow ourselves to feel the consequences (potential or real) of violence, and then find a way to transform it: be it through a sit-in, a march, a comedy routine, a poem-or a painted car.
For more images of our "car art," check out our Facebook page.
© 2012 Kaye p McKee
© 2008 Betty Foster
© 2007 Gregg Geist