Original watercolor begins – layer upon layer, Marcia Carole

I’ve been back from a mural painting trip to Nicaragua for about a week. The desire to bolt out of bed and work on a mural has lessened a little each day, but it lingers. My friend, Gail, and I painted in four places while down there, the last place being on an unusually long piece of white fabric. That last piece, we slowly found out, was for a backdrop for a teacher presentation. These “murals” were full of words, except the fabric one, so it was a little twist on mural painting. They were on walls, so they fit the bill to some extent.

Life got busy, fast, upon my return, but I have started a watercolor, as seen above, just to keep my toe in the door of making art in spite of life’s responsibilities. I’m adding a layer of paint each day. Painting, to me, is like eating or praying. I have to do it in order to feel satisfied, complete, full and at peace, at the close of a day. Painting needs to be one of the “layers” of my daily routine. It is just the way God has wired me.

I went to the oncologist on Monday to have my two month check up. All is heading in a good direction, the tumor is shrinking, and he told me to keep doing what I am doing. He even endorsed a healthy diet – for the first time since I’ve been going to him. My cancer “layer” of life seems to be diminishing; it is a part of who I am, but it is not permeating every other part of my life like it used to.

Speaking of layers, what I am finding as I go through this fight against cancer, is my praying “layer” of life seems to be permeating all the other layers, instead of the cancer. It’s almost as if prayer has won out against cancer for this role.

When I was in Nicaragua over a year ago, several ladies collaged their stories with me. We prayed through their stories as they shared their abuse, tragedy, violation and loss as well as good, happy memories. My heart was gripped with compassion for these ladies. Amazingly, I saw these ladies again on my recent return to Nicaragua. Here they are, pictured below. They are now leaders and prayer warriors in their church. Healing through art and prayer did happen. God is kind to show me the healing that has taken place in their hearts.

The ladies praying, before a service in Nicaragua, while we painted on a mural. Prayer and healing seems to have permeated all the layers of their lives as well.

‘ “O Lord, how many are my foes.” is thus the first sentence of the first prayer in the Psalms. Brief, urgent, frightened word – a person in trouble, crying out to God for help. The language is personal, direct, desperate. This is the language of prayer: men and women calling out their trouble – pain, guilt, doubt, despair – to God.Their lives are threatened. If they don’t get help, they will be dead or diminished to some critical degree. The language of prayer is forged in the crucible of trouble.’ – Eugene Peterson, Answering God


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