Thursday, January 18, 2007

Inspiration from Jesus In Love

Today I wept tears of gratitude over a passage in Kittredge Cherry's inspirational novel, Jesus In Love. I have been painting feverishly for an upcoming exhibition in May at the JHS Gallery in Taos. My muscles are sore and I have been dogged by a nagging sharpness in my left hip. Taking a break this afternoon, I turned to Kitt's novel for relaxation. The following quotation from her book released my pain into joy.

Written as if Jesus is speaking in the first person, I read the scene where Jesus speaks to his disciples about women. After being prodded by Jesus, Andrew reluctantly admits that he had taught the scriptures to Mary, an act that was exclusively reserved for men in those times when women were to serve men and not as their equals.

Jesus then entreats Andrew to repeat something he had concluded about Mary Magdalene. From page 172-173 from Cherry's novel, Jesus says:

"...Andy, maybe you should tell them what you told me about her mind. What kind of mind did you say [Mary] had?"

Andrew looked sullenly at the half-empty plates in front of us. "A brilliant mind."

"What?!" None of them, Mary included, could believe their ears, but Peter was the one who pressured his brother. "What did you say?"

Andrew glared at Peter and raised his voice in anger. "I said she has a brilliant mind. That's why I taught her. She's very eager to learn scripture, and she can memorize it and analyze it extremely well. Much better than you ever could, Simon!"

Mary's startled face softened as her spirit began to soar. She sat up taller. It was obvious to me that she was not used to being praised like that.

I looked right at her and repeated it slowly so she could savor it. "A brilliant mind. That's right. God gave you a mind that shines like a bright light. Nobody lights a lamp and then hides it. They put it on a stand so it can light up the whole house. In the same way, let your own light shine so that others can see your good works and thank your Creator."

She had said nothing throughout the entire discussion.

"Please tell us what you've been thinking, Mary," I urged. "You are one of my disciples, so you really must speak up when I'm teaching like this. It's for everyone's benefit." [emphasis added in boldface]

Yes, my sisters, it is for everyone's benefit that we speak up.

I've snipped but a small portion of a pivotal scene from Kitt's novel. I guess you will have to buy the book to learn how the interactions between Jesus, Mary, and his disciples unfold. I assure you, the book is worth far more than the small price you will pay for the great treasure it contains. Read what other authors and esteemed colleagues say about it here.

The above snippet of text from Jesus In Love also reminds me of an awesome quote from Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

What wonderfully inspired words! Between Kitt Cherry's Jesus In Love novel and Marianne Williamson's quote from A Return To Love, I received just what I needed today to feed my heart and soul.

Now back to painting.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Gone paintin'

I haven't blogged for quite some time because life happens. Still, I missed blogging about some major turn of events.

I missed participating in the jubilation over Democrats taking back the majority in Congress. Thank, God!

I missed wishing folks, Happy New Year! I guess it isn't too late to wish everyone the best in 2007.

I missed giving attention to the history-making news of America's first Madam Speaker, Nancy Pelosi...and that's a crying shame. I did manage to watch her swearing-in ceremony. That was something to witness.

I missed blogging about Kitt Cherry's new book releases, Hide and Speak, a coming out guide, and her brilliant, breakthrough novel, Jesus in Love. Click the links to find out more.

Sadly, I just haven't had time to address countless other newsworthy subjects. Why?

I'm currently painting new oils for a sacred art show opening May 12 at the JHS Gallery in Taos, NM. That's my priority now so blogging will have to be sporadic if I post comments at all until after the May exhibition. If I can, I'll post some pics of the new art I'm creating.

See you soon. Until then, do what you can to stop the escalation of Bush's War in Iraq. Let's start bringing the troops home. Now. As Molly Ivins said, "it's up to us. You and me."

In the meantime...