Years ago, I bought a sturdy coffee table book.
The artist’s first name is Herbert … and his last name is now lost to me.
Most of the paintings are dated 1973. Some may be pen and ink. Most are watercolor …
earthen, muted browns and ambers, black and gray with muted greens and
mottled, speckled blues here and there.
Some time ago, I ripped out the pages that appealed to me
and tossed the rest of the book.
I’ve been a page collector for years.
Rather than pack-ratting entire books and magazines,
I save the pages that inspire me.
I used one of the pages from the book as the base for creating the Journey artwork that I wrote about here.
I didn’t grow up in the country, but I grew up traveling the backroads of Georgia between busy south Atlanta and rural Statesboro, Georgia where my grandparents lived. We also traveled to Americus and Waycross for a bit to visit other grandparents.
When I was in middle school, we moved to south Georgia and the trail from Thomasville to Statesboro become familiar. With both grandparents there by that time, the trip was common and frequent. I think it is all this back road travel that cemented my love of open fields, cattle and barely rolling hills.
This style home is one of the quintessential standards in Georgia. Between every rural city, you see a few of these … those that wind and weather haven’t blown away.
Naturally, this page was one that was pulled out and stashed away from that book of watercolor paintings from the 70’s.
With the change of seasons … comes the change of artwork on my mantle.
And I have no spring painting.
This sliver of paper of an overgrown homestead seemed an excellent springboard
towards something lovely.
The weekend found Joy, still in footed pj’s that are wild and free like her spirit.
She offered me acoustic melodies as I painted
and I enjoyed her sweet presence.
Painter’s tape guided my rows,
as I marked off my field rows
and tried to mimic texture and color around that beautiful house painted and then printed decades ago.
I will be honest in telling you
that ofttimes I pick up a paintbrush,
am surprised at my finished product.
This painting was as much a surprise.
I really like the way she feels.
She smells of fresh turned peanuts in fall and feels like a warm spring breeze.
And I found the message
in Edgar Guest’s poem called
Sermons We See.
It was in an old copy of Leaves of Gold, a book of prose, poetry and proverbs.
I cut out the words
and affixed them in place.
The phrase tells the story … my heart story …
the one I long to tell
and the same I yearn to experience.
“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day. I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way”
Parallels between the physical and the spiritual!
Those are “The Sermons We See!”
And this truth … that walking, living, breathing
discipleship is the one that speaks volumes.
It isn’t taking your child to church that teaches him about Christ,
it is behaving like Him that speaks volumes.
It isn’t quoting verses of scripture that teaches her about His love,
it is behaving like Christ that makes the impression on that young, tender shoot.
It is loving when it hurts,
giving when we are empty
and asking forgiveness even when we don’t understand how we offended ….
we only know that we have wounded.
Christ carried the burden that He did not deserve.
He put relationship over pride.
He put others before Himself.
He led by example rather … than simply quoting The Law.
This is my focus.
I don’t want to p.o.i.n.t to Christ …
I want His image
to be the default image you see
when you look at me.
This is the homestead sermon …
written on the hearts of those around you
taught daily within the four walls of your home
with the handwritten script of time,
standing the test of weather, wind and time.