Sunday, July 11, 2010

a Sunday Blessing - I am not qualified

I have been reading Madeleine L'Engle's
Walking on Water - reflections on faith and art 
and thoroughly loving it...
She talks about all the flawed heroes found in her favorite Bible verses.  Each does more than he or she could have thought possible on his own.  Jacob was a liar and a cheat, yet was given extraordinary visions of angels ascending and descending a ladder from earth to heaven.  Moses wasn't qualified to do the job God asked of him and he even tried to get out of it.  She reiterates that glimpses of God were and are not given to the qualified as they may not have the need for them.  The needy pay attention.
In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory.  If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there's no danger that we will confuse God's work with our own.

She goes on to say that:
 It is interesting to note how many artists have had physical problems to overcome, deformities, lameness, terrible loneliness.  Could Beethoven have written that glorious paean of praise in the Ninth Symphony if he had not had to endure the dark closing in on deafness?  As I look through his work chronologically, there's no denying that it strengthens along with the deafness.  Could Milton have seen all that he sees in Paradise Lost if he had not been blind?  It is chastening to realize that those who have no physical flaw, who move through life in step with their peers, who are bright and beautiful, seldom become artists.  The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.
She concludes:
  The world tempts us to draw back, tempts us to to believe we will not have to take this test.  We are tempted to try to avoid not only our suffering but also that of our fellow human beings, the suffering of the world, which is part of our own suffering.  
The artist cannot hold back; it is impossible, because writing, or any other discipline of art involves participation in suffering, in the ills and the occasional stabbing joys that come from being part of the human drama.

So I choose to learn through pain, to be available to see the hurt in the world,
to try and keep my eyes open and not turn away...
even though sometimes it is more than I think I can handle.

I am saddened that my finger is really numb (at least it does not hurt)
so I am scared for the future and need to rely on God
and trust in Him for my healing and 'finger abilities'.
I am going to clean the art room this week and attempt to make something
with my other 4 very capable fingers.


  1. Well said and a lesson we need to be reminded of continually....When we think we can't God says you're right but I CAN......

    I hope your finger is better soon but God can use four just as well if He so chooses......


  2. This really struck a chord with me. I began painting when I became housebound due to developing a severe and dangerous allergy to heat. I turned to art as a source of therapy and to avoid depression. If you'd like to read my experience, stop over to my blog and read "My Invincible Summer." Hope it speaks to you as this spoke to me.

  3. Wonderful post Pamela!
    For the longest time now I have had to fight with myself to paint because I have this dread fear of failure. It is paralyzing sometimes like actual hands holding me back and I just couldn't figure where this feeling was coming from.
    Reading your post I suddenly realized that I don't feel worthy of the gift I was given, that I fear falling short of what the Lord expects of me. I realize now that what the Lord expects of me is to live joyfully in whatever I do and He will be pleased. Thanks for the Ah ha moment Pam!
    Tina xo

  4. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful parts of the book with us. It sounds like a great book to read. I know the feeling of going through something you think you can't handle... but you really can because HE is right there with you. Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday Pamela! :)

  5. Sorry to hear of your injury and hope your recovery continues to go well. Lovely post~
    All my best, Theresa

  6. Oh my goodness Pamela..I must find this book. Thank you so much for sharing the title and some of what to expect within. I found you by way of the Flying Lessons Group. Just went and browsed your Etsy Shop..and your work is absolutely delightful!

    Hugs of Georgia Sunshine,

  7. This is such a beautiful post! I must find this book too! Thanks so much for sharing! I am loving your gorgeous space here and your wonderful work! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

  8. This is a beautiful post and seems to speak directly to me! Love your blog! Thank you for sharing!

  9. What an inspiring and beautiful post. So glad I found it and so grateful I found you. I will definetely buy that book. Thank you so much for sharing. Love your work. I will "heart" yor etsy store! Keep following your dreams, take action while you "Enjoy The Ride"!!

  10. Pamela, I am very touched by your post. So well written and personal yet universal. I am sorry about your finger. When I was in high school I was in a bad car accident and nearly lost my index finger on my left hand. It sounds strange but I sort of love the scar (not so much the arthritis that's creeping in) because it reminds me not to take the gift of my hands for granted. Sounds like your injury may be part of something bigger that will unfold in it's own time. BIG Hug-- Malia

  11. That is such an honest post and I'm sure God will appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. I hope your hand is healing. Claire x

  12. Boy this post really hit home. You've just written what I believe is true and feels real...thank you.

  13. i too, love this book. your blog is wonderful, i am officially a fan! :) yay! a new blog to visit on my daily rounds! :) jan