Why am I doing this? (the lion, part 1) + FREE PRINT (originally published on atlasoflight.com)
[Originally Published on 03/21/2016 on www.atlasoflight.com, the blog that preceded atlasartpress.com]
I was not the lion, but it fell to me to give the lion's roar. - Winston Churchill -
I am not the lion, but I'd like to try to communicate his roar. See, the lion can be quiet for a long time, but then, when the lion spies that small crack in your heart, you just might hear his majestic, awe-inspiring roar. Then...you can't forget it. This roar is a sound that is all-encompassing and stronger than any other call, but to a member of his pride, it evokes security, protection, and power--not fear. The voice is powerful, transcending...it's so definitive and perfect and miraculously calming, that it breaks open that small crack of fear and doubt and lets the light in. When the light starts peeking through, it's hard to turn away--because now, the dark is fully compromised.
Caged inside my heart and soul were years upon years of raw ideas, imagery, writings--aching to be free, but with no way to puncture the surface...no proper venue for them to thrive once they were let out. Eventually, the deepest, love-driven longings usually find a way to come into the light. Last winter, just after my sparkling silence--the silence that was louder, yet more gentle than anything I've experienced, I realized this love that I felt was going to drive the creative impulses I had out of their cage.
When I heard the lion's voice, I was filled with courage and power. This presence of authority and sovereignty broke through the barren savannah that life sometimes becomes. That mighty presence recognized that I was holding my ideas captive and said:
You can release your fear now. I've trampled it. Love has no room for fear. I am love. Share my love through your gifts. Stay in touch with me (selah), then I will show you the way.
I already had a 'creative' career and perhaps many thought I was already on my true path. But I knew in my truest self that I was not. I still felt I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing. In my 'day job', my business is officially part of the creative industry--I own a graphic design business offering art direction, photography, illustration, print and web design, etc. My work has won numerous awards, jobs, and clients because of the creative, successful promotions and brands my business produces as well my leadership and project management skills. I say this fact not to promote myself but to aid the idea that despite these things, I never felt like I was releasing the deep desires of creativity buried inside. I can certainly be creative for my clients and thoroughly enjoy that process on many occasions. But that is a different, separate path than this. This other path--Atlas of Light--is the sole venue where I can explore and share the Light through art, writing, and music all in one place.
The Truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself. - St. Augustine -
Realizing the lion is in control has allowed me to trample fear in presenting gifts without perfection. After my sparkling silence, I brainstormed, sketched, wrote, researched, prayed, and had others pray for my direction. Atlas of Light came out of that long, yet exciting process. I prayed specifically for God to compile any gifts that I had been given into something that could hold them all--like a treasure chest to create communications for illuminating his Light.
After I had published a few posts, I sent a text message to a friend asking for prayer for my little project and for courage to release my thoughts in this uncomfortable vulnerable way. She replied: "And listen up--our words breathe life or death--your project is not a 'little project,' it is a calling from the King! Look at it as such..."
Yes, I screenshot the text so I could be reminded of her encouragement:
Ohhhh. Yeahhhh. The KING, my lovely friends. The creator of the universe. THE UNIVERSE. Try to fathom HOW MIGHTY (benevolent power) and AWE-INSPIRING (think beauty, unconditional love) and SOVEREIGN (will work all things for good in his time) this presence REALLY IS. Really. It's hard to comprehend, but what she said is spot on--this whole thing started with a moment so real, that I simply could not shake it. The lion saw a crack, let out his roar, and revealed himself as King to me in that silence when I asked to feel his presence with my whole heart.
I will create, sing, and write...as I do these things, I will release them in imperfection and let them go and serve whatever purpose they are destined for at that time. I hope you can call upon your gifts and use them without hesitation. If you aren't sure what they are, that's fine! Ask for them to be revealed and made clear...explore, have fun, talk to others...but most of all don't be scared to share.
ABOUT LAST WEEK: Wardrobe of Virtues: 7 Days of New Clothes was the theme last week (check it out now and download your FREE Wardrobe of Virtues) and it came from constantly coming across the scripture verses describing those virtues and wanting to figure them out--their meanings, their history. I believe in the many statements in scripture that indicate the transforming qualities of those virtues. I believe in researching before fully understanding. I believe in sharing good things. I researched, created, prayed, and shared. It's that simple. I did it in hopes that it will affect my life in a positive way if I keep the virtues in mind. In hopes that it will affect my readers' lives in positive ways. With this project and with posts to come, I promise to continue to Explore. Create. Pause and Reflect. Share. Love. Repeat.