In 2010 I was invited to present a program at “Sweet Spring Splendor,” a dessert fellowship planned by the Women’s Ministry Committee of First Baptist Church of College Station, Texas.
Several years ago when I was a very new member of this church and this community I had attended this event. That day Rachel Norris gave the program. She and her program made a big impression on me. Rachel is a potter. She uses a potter’s wheel to tell her story. She forms a pot from a lump of clay and after telling of her rebellion from God as a young person, she destroys the pot. The audience gasps. Rachel goes on to tell how God drew her back to himself. She continues to work on a platter as she talks. At the end she turns it so that the audience can see. The destroyed pot has been transformed into a beautiful platter that is decorated with a flourishing grapevine – just as Rachel’s life has been transformed.
SO…for a long time I have been pondering how to tell my story using my means. Pictured here is the result. Instead of trying to recreate my talk I will describe some of the major images. On a large dry erase board I started with my time line.
Happy childhood: Christian parents, one older brother.
Marriage to Bob Moore. Ten years of one or both of us in graduate school.
“A man’s heart devises his way; but God directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Birth of Lew Jessen Moore – an unexpected, right-angled turn. Lew had severe physical and mental disabilities.
Birth of Judson Lee Moore – a typically-developing strong-willed child.
On the far left: “Caregiver Stress” – Lew and Judson’s early years.
Lew’s hospitalizations and continual decline.
Right of center: “Lew and the Angel of Transition” – a dream I had of Lew in the arms of an angel ten days before he died.
Upper right: Lew’s resurrection, breaking through the water of life where he was having difficulty breathing into his new reality with God.
Further to right: Our tombstone where Lew’s cremated remains are buried and Bob’s and mine will be. Mooringsport, Louisiana.
Center: A figure (you, me, anyone) standing in God’s hand, being sheltered under God’s wing. We can choose to be there, standing securely during life’s storms, because of the work of Christ on the cross. John 3:16
I ended by reading 1 Corinthians 15: 54 and following about resurrection.
Since having figured out how to tell my story using images and words, I’ve had several opportunities to do so: at a women’s retreat in Texas and at a retreat for the wives of Baptist pastors in the Kuna Islands off the coast of Panama. I have told God I will go anywhere God opens the door and do this (or a similar) presentation. (I never repeat myself exactly two times in a row.) I wonder what door God will open next?
Thank you, Rachel, for showing me an example of a creative, Christian woman employing the means God has given you.
Thank you, God, for your support and care even during the hardest times.
Cherry Winkle Moore is a visual artist and a retired hospice chaplain. Cherry has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, drawing and printmaking from the University of Alabama. Later she completed a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care. Cherry sometimes says that in her case the MFA stands for Minister of Fine Arts and the MDiv stands for Making Divine Images Visible.View All Post