Pathway to the Numinous

I have always enjoyed art and I love how each person expresses creativity in a unique way. I love observing and imagining what the artist is trying to convey. Because I create, I understand how sometimes even the artist is not sure what inspired them to conceive their art.

Quite a few years ago I attended a youth ministry conference at a very low time in my life. One of the classes I attended introduced us to various types of contemplative prayer. When the crayons came out I thought, “Oh no, I don’t feel like coloring!”

We were invited to choose a handful of crayons, return to our tables and color something. As I walked toward the crayons I generally knew what I would draw. I love the ocean so I began by coloring blue water. Then I thought a sun in the corner would be nice. When I began to draw the sun it was as if I had lost control of my thoughts and the yellow rays I drew began to fill the page. The blue ocean was completely covered by sunlight. Even now I remember frantically scribbling the yellow rays.

That experience is so vivid in my memory because I was completely humbled. In my mind I was planning to color the ocean. Yet in my deep state of feeling “drowned,” coloring became prayer. It illuminated for me how God’s light brightly shines and overpowers the darkness.

The theme that kept surfacing for me that week was “drowning.” God was trying to pull me out of the depths. I had to let go of my own thoughts to allow his life-giving love to enter. Once I became aware of this I could begin the struggle to reach the surface of the waters. The journey has not been easy but I am grateful for what it continues to teach me.

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