seeking and finding
[Originally Published on 12/28/2015 on www.atlasoflight.com, the blog that preceded atlasartpress.com]
There were the endless lists, notes, jots, sketches, research, brainstorms, and middle-of-the-night lightbulb ideas, but overriding them all by leaps and bounds were experiences that could not be shaken. Experiences that were unexpected, yet came only with fully intentional presence, prayer and conversation. As the experiences accumulated, the prayers grew more intentional. My life got fuller on this earth--with children, work, just life, you know how it is--but somehow more space was created for selah... stopping and listening, pausing and reflecting. The daily and endless tasks, chores, and to-dos were painstakingly pushed and squeezed aside just enough to create even just a few minutes, sometimes even more to JUST. STOP. AND. LISTEN. Selah...to God. I stopped everything and opened it.
I opened it in my car while the girls were sleeping after a long morning. I devoured it on my knees in the empty, just-sold-in-3-days, kitchen of our old house as I prayed for my friend whose ongoing medical condition was undiagnosed and she lay flat in her house with a spinal headache before heading to the hospital. I absorbed it as I searched for answers in the dark nursery while holding my 3-month old and trying to resolve her repeated failed hearing screenings. I squeezed it tight while I prayed that a loved one's winter blues would be lifted in a place where winter blues can make you feel like you are dying. I breathed deeply over it while crying in the Tetons of a life passed by because another road was taken. I ate it up while watching closely as one of my best friends in the world experienced both parents pass from this life within 18 months of each other through the slow, yet fast process of cancer. I strapped the book to my little life like a wedding ring as another loved one dealt with her father's cancer and passing. More suicides than you want to know about. Cancer popping up everywhere. More incidents too close to home. More questionable events appearing. More questions arising about the meaning of life's troubles. (As you get older this tends to happen faster and more often!) A multitude of extraordinary answers to prayer that were undeniably, UNDENIABLY God. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME that I searched, I found. I found a light. a light is hope. a light shining to light the way and help me navigate through these messy experiences.
This light came from selah (stop & listen) and my little book and watching and paying attention to things and events around me. The light came from combining everything I was studying and reading in this little book to life and learning from it. This little book was a backpack bible (purely because it was little and convenient) that I got back in California (about 8 years ago) but didn't open too much (besides during sporadic bible studies across various denominations) until the last several years when it started getting worn like a favorite pair of boots in icy, slush, Pittsburgh winters.
I like print. I'm a print designer mainly. I like to hold the book in my hands and doodle in it, take notes with a real pen/pencil/marker, underline, circle, fold page corners down. So, this little, adorable, little jewel of a bible fit right into my overweighted life. This recent life weighed down with 30 pound purse/diaper bag/business laptop briefcases in tow at all times.
So, this tiny, yet power-FULL, light-FULL bible was opened in a dark room, on the kitchen floor, kneeling amid a crazy, scary day. It was opened and has woven the threads of my life into this special online presence called Atlas of Light. Now, I'm taking those endless notes, doodles, sketches, and revelations discovered through devouring the stories in scripture of real historical people and sharing them. Help! I'm nervous, but what the hell. Through embracing the message of those stories and trusting that message, I'm sharing this. Through STOPPING and LISTENING, SELAH, I'm now here sharing the light in hopes it may brighten your path too.