In the aftermath of divorce, I set aside a religious tradition that had led me in a life of obligation and conformity. I had reached the point that I was no longer someone I (or my wife) liked. I had become as one dimensional as the gospel I was preaching. As much as it hurt to acknowledge I was loosing a wife, it hurt worse to confess that I had lost myself. This revelation culminated as I sat on the edge of a bed holding old painting studies I had just found in the back of a closet. In that moment I saw the creative fun ‘me’ before my withdrawal into old books and doctoral pursuits.
In the following days I began to reconnect with ‘myself’ and find my story. Learning again the dimensions of ‘me’ – that I didn’t have to hustle for self-worth, I was enough being me. I sat down, made a list of things I wanted, stood up, and with a prayerful scream to the heavens. “This is what I’m going to do!”
To that specific list I added a general devotional list:
Quit beating yourself up
Listen to new music
Be around creativity
Collaborate (share story)
Do more of what makes you happy
Don’t force things
Don’t be perfect (especially someone else’s perfect)
Have fun and laugh
Break the rules
It was in that movement that I found my gospel(s) – Father, Artist, Human, Scholar. The life and enjoyment thereof is evident in the playful colors and images (mostly Gospel images) in the painting continuing the struggle highlighted in this series – the coherence and divergence inherent in the interactions between the individual gospel books (the human) and the Gospel of grace flowing through humanity (the divine).