Findings: Away from the Felt Board
I can hear it now, my feet on the thin carpet in the church nursery. My skinny, white legs shuffled me round and round, mary-jane feet, ruffled socks. My dress was stacked with a slip beneath, and if I would spin, it circled me round and turned me into something beautiful.
The nursery always smelled like sugary glue and baby wipes, and because the Lord’s Supper was served there on Sunday nights for those who missed in the morning, it smelled of Welch’s Grape Juice and those ginormous crackers. Janell Hoover and I liked to go in there and clean up afterward, which meant doing about ten shots of juice a piece. It was thrilling, because one little mishap with the juice, a dribble down the dress, would get us caught.
I remember carrying my tiny Bible, how diligently my church family taught it to me. Jesus loves me, this I know. I can still feel the felt cut-outs of Him and his apostles: the sea of Galilee so soft and blue, the smiling fish caught in the net. I learned that Jesus said, “cast your net on the other side.”
How long it took me to actually listen to his voice, growing up, always coming up empty.
Now that I believe, even though my boat is full of his goodness, I wonder if I’ll sink and drown.
I’m like a little girl waiting for the next piece of felt here. What is this story going to be?
Jesus whispers, and I hear him. The timing seems off that I would leave for Israel. My heart breaks to leave my babies. This is not a felt board story. Not until now have I considered that he’s calling me to be like him, word made flesh. Let the story move beyond art and into our bones. Let the story give us hearts of flesh.
I look at the art and try to imagine it, Gethsemane and the sea. I imagine, at the Mount of Olives, I would have fallen asleep while Jesus begged the cup to pass.
I don’t want to sleep now, though. Instead, I want to embody it. I want to sing, “Oh, he has wings for you.” Instead, I’ll go to Israel.
My husband is changing everything about his week without me so he can care for our boys. Please, pray for that man.
Even though I’ll be gone, I look forward to reading any offerings you have with Marriage Letters when I return. Our March topic is “Absence Makes the Heart,” and it goes up Monday!
Also, be sure to watch for Israel pics on Instagram!
Please read Tonia Peckover’s two most recent posts:
It’s hard to come by writing like Tonia’s.
Have a good weekend!