Day 15

Today is my day off and that means that I will hardly see anyone to talk to in any depth, apart from my beloved husband Terry. So when I read today’s challenge I realised it might be difficult to fulfill. I can knit and sew, I can draw and paint (but not very well), I play the clarinet and can do a few scales on the piano. I am good at word processing, spreadsheets and once upon a time databases. I am a decent cook of both sweet and savoury dishes. The skills naming is no problem. But who am I likely to be able to teach any of them to? I would probably have to find something else I decided as I showered and then dressed.

I watched a YouTube tutorial that had arrived in an email on how to paint like van Gough. It was a section of one of his paintings of some boats on the sea. I also read a blog on the importance of backgrounds in paintings.

During my prayer time I had my usual 5 minutes of silence near the beginning during which I repeated “be still”. And then “be still, do not worry” as I breathed in and out. Imagine my surprise then when I saw what toay’s readings and meditation were:

Psalm 107:23-30 Others went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.

Jonah 1:4-15 Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.” Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so.) The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”  “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.

Mark 4:36-41 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Today’s Meditation

God the Artist

Thou takest the pen –
and the lines dance.
Thou takest the flute –
and the notes shimmer.
Thou takest the brush –
and the colours sing.
So all things have meaning and beauty
in that space beyond time where Thou art.
How, then, can I hold back anything from Thee?

Dag Hammarskjöld

God certainly has good timing and a sense of humour. So I rose from my prayer time ready for a day out with Terry and awaited the opportunity for today’s challenge.

Whilst we were walking I mentioned an app on my phone that stores your route and calculates the distance. While we were in the pub I showed him how to download it onto his phone …. voila! I have shared something – not quite a skill and I know he is perfectly capably of having worked it out for himself – but it will do for me. No point in being overly legalistic about the lent challenge. I also thought I could offer to show him how to do good roast potatoes, but he graciously declined as he already knows how to cook them. However, on another occasion he would be pleased to learn how to do a roast dinner. His speciality is casseroles and curry – things that require good mixing of flavours..

When we got in from our walk (only 3 miles) I made a cup of tea. And retired to my room to do today’s drawing of the bridge we passed under during the walk, and to pray, thinking God for the day.

Bridge at Denstone
A quick sketch …. not meant to be exact copy…. may paint it sometime.

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