Pandemic Hobbies, A Little Art History, & Opening The Door To Jesus

Tracey Henkel

Tracey Henkel

Clinton Township Discipleship Director

We are human 'beings' not human 'doings.'

Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up, you’re not enough, or just can’t do one more thing? Come up with one more creative idea? Figure out the answer to one more math problem? Everything is on you and if you don’t get it right things will fall apart. In our current circumstances, not quite post-pandemic, we struggle to try and manage our own little worlds within a chaotic, confusing, and often scary big world. Lack of control over most of what is going on around us has led to confusion, frustration, division and for many…even depression. We are grasping and striving.
As a result of the pandemic have you found yourself doing things you never thought you would do? Maybe looking for something to help you escape all the pandemic craziness? Perhaps reading, binge watching, social media, exercising, pickle-ball. 

Here’s what I started doing: birdwatching! It’s okay, you can make fun of it. I don’t do things simply. I’m not just a backyard birder, I go chase them! (Did you even know it was a thing?)

So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. -Matthew 10:31

Birds are cool, but God didn’t design them for relationship. He saved that for me and you. NOTHING in creation was designed for relationship except me and you.

How do we know this is true? Where do we go to find out more about this idea? God’s Word, the Bible, is His Love Story to us. It is the story of God and us, how much He loves us, and how He wants to be a part of our lives. God wants a relationship with us. 

It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship.

God loves us even if we don’t love Him.

“This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us” – 1 John 4:10a

God wants us to know Him.

“He did this so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” – Acts 17:27

There’s a painting by Michelangelo called the ‘Creation of Man.’ I imagine that this scene is depicting God striving and reaching for Adam but that Adam is reclined and leaning away from God. All Adam must do to touch God is lift up his finger. God is that close. He wants a relationship with Adam.

Are we like Adam? Do we hold ourselves back? Why? Perhaps it is how we think about God. How you think about someone affects what you believe about them and your behavior toward them. It’s the same with our relationship with God. Every relationship starts with learning about someone.

What we think about God determines our relationship with God.

I like what Darren Wilson says in his book Chasing a God You Don’t Want to Catch: “What you think about God…affects every aspect of your life. It’s your spiritual reality, even if it may be entirely wrong.”

How can we know if we have a right view of God? If the Bible says He isn’t far from us, then how do we find Him?

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

“But if from there you seek the Lord Your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” –Deuteronomy 4:29

We are to seek Him. He is waiting for us. He isn’t going to force His way into our lives.

Here's another promise from Revelation 3:20: "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."

William Holmer Hunt illustrated this verse with a painting called ‘Light of the World’. Notice the details on this work of art:
o   The door is overgrown with ivy and weeds. It represents a person’s life. This person never invited Jesus to come into their life.
o   Jesus is standing at the door and awaiting a response. Jesus wants to be a part of this person’s life.
o   Eating is a sign of friendship and Jesus offers this friendship to everyone who opens the door of their lives. This is relationship!
o   Someone thought William Holmer Hunt had made a mistake because there is no door handle. He said no, that’s deliberate. There is a handle, but it’s on the inside.
o   We must open the door to let Jesus into our lives. He won’t force His way in. His promise: If you invite Him in, He WILL come in. Not “might”, or “think about it”, but He WILL come in.

A relationship with God can start now.
Would we feel alone if we knew we were never meant to go through this life alone? That the creator of the world designed us to live our lives with Him? To know Him. To communicate with Him. To be known by Him. To be in relationship with Him.

Open the door of your life and invite Him in.

Adapted from a teaching at Getaway women’s retreat in September.

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updated June 23, 2021

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