So, I'm not an artist, not really. No training and too lazy to figure out how to do things right. But I do play with watercolors and acrylics. A while back I started drawing out prayers. And then I started taking my colored pencils and sketch pad to church with me.
It somewhat helps me stay focused on listening.
So here's what I drew today in church:
I don't know how well that you can see it (or even if you could, if you'd be able to tell what's going on here...), but there's a guy standing on this path looking toward the cross, and there's this big pile of bricks in his way.
When I envisioned it before drawing, I started out envisioning a brick wall and it was going to be on the very right hand side of the page. The bricks representing, of course, someone's barriers to faith in Christ. But then I thought that, no, these barriers aren't unscaleable, insurmountable walls. And I really wanted to draw a picture of barriers being broken down, because that's what I'm praying for in the lives of my friends. So I set out to draw a picture of a barrier that had already been broken down and that was no longer going to be in the way of the person looking to the cross.
But when I got done drawing, I realized that the pile of bricks seemed just as insurmountable as a wall would have been. It's almost as tall as the guy and the guy just can't seem to see a way around it or through it. So I sat there for a couple of minutes, wondering what the guy should do. What can the guy do?
This is how I see barriers to faith right now, I think. What I should see, what I want to see, is a work crew out there carting out the bricks. I want to see a whole church there, holding the guy's hand, walking beside him, telling him about the path and the obstacles and the joys along the way. But all I see right now is the one guy, standing alone, looking for a way across. Worse still, sometimes I see a guy with his back turned toward the cross, not seeing anything there worth walking toward.
I know that it's possible for barriers to faith to be overcome. I know that it's possible for people to cross over whatever barriers stand in their way and to kneel at the cross. I've seen it happen. But normally people need help to make it past the barriers. The church is supposed to be that help. We're supposed to be there, on that path toward the cross, walking with people and loving them and praying for them.
So why is my guy standing all alone?