I am not a “mature” visual journalist. I have been creating these journal pages for only about a year. But the effect on my spiritual walk has taught me so much about the power of combining message with art.
Through the encouragement of some dear friends — Dr. Karen Bannister, Cathy Travis and Dona Rains — Spiritual Prescription was born. I hope there is some tidbit in these posts that inspire you to create your own visual record of your walk with Christ.
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11
A man finds joy in an apt reply and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23
I spend many of my waking hours in a hospital. It is my place of ministry, so naturally this is where we shall begin.
Words have power
Some of the words spoken in a hospital, no matter how gently delivered, can leave a lot of ragged edges.
Every day, families and patients hear unexpected news and must adjust to hard new circumstances. In the immediate aftermath there sometimes are no words. Just being present and listening speak volumes.
The Bible teaches that words kill and words give life. Words like trauma, terminal, critical care, etc., are tough to hear. They evoke fear, anxiety and anguish. In Christ, we have the WORD, which trumps all words of despair. God’s word puts hope in every situation. It is the remedy – the antidote!
A few years ago when my father was facing a life threatening condition, my friends Cathy and Sharon had a knack for saying just the right thing at the right time. Their words were aptly spoken, always sprinkled with the wisdom of the Scriptures. God’s word is always timely. It is my prescription for life.
Prayer: Help me Lord to choose my words wisely. Teach me to listen more, speak less and follow your lead. I want to stop interrupting you. By your grace, redeem the words I have spoken in haste. These are bad habits that only you can cure. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Each week Spiritual Prescriptions will feature pages from a collection of journal entries – most were written to two of my children (I have two more to go!) and to Karen’s son David, who received my first visual journal in June 2011.
David (pictured below with children in Tanzania) was my prayer partner as we prepared for a trip to Africa, and I was compelled to write my prayers for him every day for three months leading up to our departure date. With each passing day, the journal became a visual marker of a deeper truth that God’s word brings color and texture to a world that is otherwise washed-out, washed-up, and chaotic. This daily discipline was transformational for me and it was part of God’s preparation of my heart for loving the people of Morogoro, Tanzania.