My friend Jim Bickford is an artist and a long-time Jesus lover. He recently read Praying in Color and Praying in Black and White and pulled out his pen and his all-in-one 8 colors mechanical pencil. These are Jim’s first prayers. I like these continuous line drawings because they look like meandering paths. For me the journey with Jesus often feels like I’m wandering on winding roads in unknown territory. Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk, expressed this feeling so well for me in what is now known as the Thomas Merton prayer from his writings Thoughts in Solitude © Abbey of Gethsemani. Here is an excerpt.
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you…. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Here are a couple of Jim’s “real” paintings. He often combines oils and acrylics.