The Nestbuilder

Part 2 in a blog series about Seasoned Threads
The second painting I am going to discuss is entitled“The Nest-Builder”
I have lived in an extended period of time marked by desire, hope and pain. Along the way I felt God asking me to hold the pain in my hands and resist the urge to resolve, explain or understand it.  Any of us who have a pulse understand what a difficult thing this is to do. We want things to make sense, we desire answers and resolution. In recent years, I have found the answers I want are not always the ones I receive.  That is a painful process.

I’m struck by how much of our lives is lived in the unseen. When I think about these years of longing and desire, I find them expressed in my prayers. I watch hours of prayers become days of prayers become months of prayers become years of prayer. It’s interesting to think that the substance of my days can be made up of totally unseen things: my hopes, longings and prayers.

In these years of longing, I saw my grasp tighten around the pain. I held it close and rarely spoke of it. It was always present and in it’s midst, I was tenuous, fragile, hurting and broken. I heard countless lectures and encouragements about surrender and while I felt the truth of it all, I didn’t know how to surrender. I didn’t know how to let go and accept the answers I received. I said those words to God a lot, “I don’t know how.” I’m really not sure why or when it happened, but one day I just opened my little wing and let the pain unfurl.

These paintings are entirely about how God has and is taking the unseen things of my heart; my longings and hopes and pain and making them into something that is seen.

Erin Shaw