transition

So I have to admit that I have not been posting art work because I haven’t been making any. And it’s not to say that I haven’t had the urge. I think about my work stored in plastic tubs in my parent’s new home in Hamilton. I think about the way watercolor paper feels when you soak the page. I think about scraping paint out from underneath my fingernails, and I am nostalgic for the smell of my tiny studio in the no man’s land of Roosevelt. 

But what has been happening in this period of transition and painting absence is a stirring and simmering. Art has always been an outlet, for my whole life, and in particular the last few years. I would paint away the frustrations of school, life, health, friends, family, of stupid projects, and boys. I especially would paint away the ache of missing Standing Rock and ministry. I haven’t served in ministry since I tearfully and unexpectedly left the Rez in August of 2010. I can’t believe it has been 2 years. 

And tonight an innocent conversation with Travis turned into me pouring (quite literally) my heart out, with tears and snot and sniffles filling his shoulder. Bless his heart, he is truly a saint. I know that God has designed me with a unique purpose in life. And for awhile, after relapsing into MG 2 years ago, I thought that calling was simply to ENDURE. To endure the life that he had given me as a testament to obedience, grace, and faithfulness. But now that I am starting to do better, I find my heart aching. I miss grass dancers, fry bread, endless camp planning meetings (did I really just type that?), beadwork, friends, laughter, free hug signs, hiking the butte, watching storms roll in, running around getting everything ready for missions groups and most of all our beloved kids. 

It goes deeper than that. I miss service. My soul aches for so much. It aches for the injustices of the relationship and history between the U.S. Government and Native American Tribes, for people who don’t know the Lord, for people who don’t have or know nutrition, clean and safe water, health care (and not the political kind, but the actual service of health). For my friends and friends of friends who have lost loved ones to illness, accidents, and acts of violence.

For many years I have prayed this prayer, and have had mentors and friends pray it over me as I prepared for summers of service. And the greatest burden and blessing in my life is that God has answered it. Now, it is my responsibility to seek to fulfill this indescribable call on my life to LOVE. 

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done

3 thoughts on “transition

  1. oh i love this so much. where is this prayer found? would you mind if I used it in my Sociology class at Eastern? Its perfectly you and so wonderful.

  2. Kate- it's called a Four-Fold Franciscan Blessing, but sometimes online I find it under Benedictine. It's usually attached to this "Prayer of St. Francis" (but from what I've heard it isn't actually his prayer and was written sometime in the 21st century) Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy.O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled, as to console,To be understood, as to understand; To be loved, as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it its in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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