The 23rd Psalm Art Book, Marcia Carole
Many have asked for further instruction in helping participants share their stories in a Psalm 23 workshop. I have my participants share parts of their own stories, through the art, as they collage. So, here goes! I hope this is helpful.
Psalm 23 begins with; “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.” I think of God as Creator King who is a kind shepherd. He takes care of my needs, and He is creative in how that is accomplished. When collaging the Psalm, ask participants, “When was a time in your life when you clearly knew God as King or Shepherd, providing for your needs?” They should think of specific time/s in their lives, and place a picture in the collage to represent that time/s. For me, when God comforted me through friends and family, during great trauma, I sensed Jesus’ shepherding care in my life.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
Next, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul.” Participants can collage this part of the Psalm and ask, “When was a time when God renewed and restored your soul?” A picture or color can be used to represent that part of the participants story. For me, God has built art back into my life and through it, restored my soul.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”
After a time of reflection, go onto the next section of the Psalm. “He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Ask participants, “When was a time when God was clearly leading you on a course that was righteous, holy or exemplary for His name or His honor?” I can share several times when I was clearly led by God, serving and loving people in many places around the world, and He was honored. The “paths” were for His honor.
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Continuing on, collage the section of the Psalm: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Your rod and staff comfort me.” Ask participants, “When did God bring you through a difficult, dark time, a time when He protected and comforted you through great adversity or hardship?” They can cut out symbols to reflect their personal “valleys of the shadow of death.” Perhaps they are cancer survivors – I’ve placed boulders on my page for this part to represent my cancer. Perhaps they have suffered loss, abuse, violation, shame. They can collage this “out” on this page.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Your rod and staff, comforts and protects me.”
Then, have participants collage, “He sets a banquet table before me in the presence of my enemies; He anoints my head with oil; my cup is filled to overflowing, and keeps on being filled.” Ask participants, “When has God given you a time of celebration after trials or testing?” For me, I thought of a really fancy table, but for one of my participants, she put a gingham tablecloth on her table. I asked her “Why?” and she responded, “When I think of gingham, I think of home, and, of finally being home with the Lord in Heaven.”
“You set a banquet table for me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over.”
End your session by collaging, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” For me, I think of a rock when I think of goodness and mercy. It really is the solid foundation my life is now built on because of the relationship I have with my Shepherd King Jesus. That’s why I collaged the rocks under my home, and eternal home, in this collaged page.
Ask participants to hope on this page. “When have you sensed God having your back, providing goodness and mercy in your lives?” “How do you know you have a Heavenly home?” Perhaps an individual or incident in their lives reminds them of God’s goodness and mercy being their protection when they didn’t even realize they were in danger. When did God have their back, so to speak. I would share how God has had my back, when I didn’t even know I was in a unsafe situation.
“Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
I ended my book with this beautiful picture of the shepherd caring for his sheep. It reminds me every day that I am loved and cared for by my Shepherd King. He leads me, walks alongside me, and protects me from the back. When viewing my life through the lens of Scripture, I have hope, and my story comes together as a reflection of His goodness and care.
Psalm 23 made in Turkey by one of the participants.