SATAN IS happy with your progress.
Take a look at this modern art piece by George Horner, Satan is Happy with your progress, 2012. When I first read it, I thought about a person who is deliberately choosing to be bad. “Yeah, they’re working to get his approval.” I imagined those people walking right up and pulling the chain to light up the sign themselves.
Then it hit me, “Oh crap, that’s me on all those days I’m not paying attention to what is really going on.” Letting the Enemy drag me into a state of hopelessness is exactly the gleeful chain pulling high he’s looking for. Light that baby up…KA-CHICK.
At the end a particularity wearying winter here on the South Dakota Prairie, March 19th, 2019 marked the 365th day of my daily art-making challenge. I reached the milestone with the completion of a piece fittingly titled, The Victory. The rewards and challenges of this daily practice were well worth it. So worth it, I decided NOT to stop. The challenge would keep going, and I would too…all the way to 1000 days now.
Since April, the daily painting challenge I had given myself last year became more important than ever, and I knew that picking up my brush, putting some paint on the palette and just letting myself do whatever would help me get up from under the broom tree. It very much became my dominant prayer practice. During this time, I pushed myself to alternate between painting with dark and light colors when I might have just stuck with a whole lot of black. This was a spiritual discipline to remind myself we are never without hope of better days —
God is faithful and unchanging. He is always good. He is always kind and compassionate. He is always caring. He is always sending forth blessings…even on the days when these are hard to accept and believe.
GIVE & RECEIVE
Completing 365 days of making art was beyond huge for me. It felt quite miraculous really. I’d never done something so challenging and yet fulfilling.
One of the things that kept me going on my 365-day challenge was the encouragement and support of my social media following. Their kind words and even the occasional “hey, did you paint today?” inquiries were invaluable in finding motivation.
I wanted to give back to these most helpful folks. I held a drawing and chose 12 winners from the 40+ entries to each receive a custom work of art — a mini canvas featuring the image of a hand. It’s an artwork I designed as an aid to prayer. By displaying the canvas on its easel in different positions, this piece of art can serve as a symbol of the prayers held in the heart on any given day, at any particular moment:
- Hand down — I seek Divine presence, help, guidance, blessing, the outpouring of the Spirit.
- Hand up — I give praise, worship, adoration to God. I commit yourself to His Word, His will and His work.
- Hand to right side — I lay the needs of others before the Lord.
- Hand to left side — I commit to helping, supporting and edifying others through the prompting of God’s Spirit.
These are the coordinating Scripture passages for each hand position:
- Hand down — God brought me out into a spacious place; God rescued me because God delighted in me. — 2 Samuel 22:20
- Hand up — Praise God’s glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with God’s glory. Amen and amen! — Psalm 72:19 …offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. — Romans 12:1b
- Hand to right side — And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. — Ephesians 6:18a
- Hand to left side — Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. — 1 Thessalonians 5:11a