Drawing Birds

Some would call me an artist. Though, I don’t believe I am dedicated enough to claim that title. I would say that I have been gifted with artistic skills. I have been drawing since I was a little girl and have grown and stretched my creative abilities in other artistic channels as well. While I primarily work with graphite, I’ve also enjoyed working with oil pastels, chalk, charcoal, throwing pottery with clay, wood working and have even painted one oil painting. I went to school for Interior Design and learned to use my skills to create spaces, products, light fixtures and furniture (actually building, from scratch, the furniture piece I designed…I even learned to weld!) I also made digital and mixed media presentations to communicate my designs to clients. Most of what I do now is graphic design for work. But there is something special about picking up a pencil and sketchbook and just spilling out what is stirring inside. Usually I give away all of the best drawings and paintings I create, forgetting to even take pictures of them. So, I don’t always have much to show. Over the years, I have gotten busier and don’t spend much time creating things just for the sake of creating. However, there have been times that God actually puts a picture in my head that I can not stop thinking about until I get it out onto paper. This was the case about a year and a half ago.

I had an image in my head that would not go away. It was not even a pleasant image. It was a memory from a painful time. I tried not to think about it and push it out of my mind. One day as it was coming across my mind as an intrusive flash yet again, I asked God why. “Why will this not just go away?” God simply spoke to my heart that He had something to show me in it. He asked me to draw it. At first, I didn’t really want to. Drawing something like that could take a few hours, which means I would have to think about it for that time. No one wants to intentionally spend hours facing the pains in their past. After all, I had spent most of my life trying not to think about them. I also wasn’t sure what He could possibly show me through that memory. He continued to gently persist in His request. So, one day I went to the park with some pencils and my sketchbook in tow. I started to draw and throughout the process, I tarried between focusing on the technical details of the drawing and the emotional reactions I was having to seeing this memory materialize on paper. When I finished, there it was, a little bird with a broken neck hanging in front of my face…again.

Bird1

I felt like the little girl whose spirit was crushed when an evil man used the murder of the little bird as a demonstration to intimidate those he was hurting. Taking in the sorrow of the image, tears flowed out, not understanding why God wanted me to remember this so vividly. Reflecting on the state of my heart as I was trudging through a long and arduous battle of healing, I began to identify with the bird in the drawing. “God, I am the little bird with the broken neck. I am so broken, and I can’t be fixed.”

That’s when God asked me to pick back up my pencil and turn the page. He gave me a new picture that spilled from my hand before I really even knew what I was drawing. After another few hours of this drawing taking form, I stopped and looked at it with wonder.

Bird2

As I stared at the drawing, God spoke so tenderly and resolutely to my heart, “I can take anything, ANYTHING, and bring new life.” He was telling me that even though I was weary and feeling hopeless that I would be healed of the deep wounds from my past. He had not given up on me. He wasn’t going to either. Where I felt too broken, too wounded and completely lifeless, He reminded me that He has a track record of bringing the dead to life, and He will do the same for me. He will do the same for you too. No matter what your past. No matter the wounds inflicted by others or by ourselves, He can heal us.