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Sue to Mark 3

Sunday, April 6

Hi Mark:

          Actually, I thought that for a first draft, your letter looked pretty good! Did Barry tell you that I taught college English for 10 years? Is that why I detect a tiny note of editing paranoia in your postscript?! People always apologize for their grammar, etc., when they find out I taught English, and I have to laugh. Grammar is so BORING!! I spent as little time on it as I could get away with! I've always been a content gal. WHAT you say is the main thing. I've graded mechanically flawless papers that were worthless.

          I've done some more thinking about your need for an audible word of affirmation and comfort from God. As your basic mainline Texas-style Southern Baptist, I don't really expect or even consider the possibility of God manifesting himself PHYSICALLY. I guess that's why I rather glibly suggested you just open yourself in some other way to the Father's comfort. I realized, however, that in doing so, I'm rather audaciously limiting God to a mere spiritual realm. Who am I to imply God probably won't meet you (quite literally) where you live - at the place of your deepest need? Years ago, I heard a series of sermons on angels by a pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler. His main message was how God uses angels to operate on a physical plane in this world. I remember one particularly powerful illustration about a woman whose husband had recently died. She lay in bed night after night, desperately lonely and grief-stricken, intensely missing just the warmth of her husband's body by her side. Then one night, as she lay on her side in one of her darkest moments, she felt a familiar arm of great tenderness curve around her. She was so deeply comforted that she fell into a healing rest, and counted the beginning of her recovery from that moment. SO . . . I will simply pray, knowing in advance that God will meet your need at the time and on the plane He deems best.

          Which brings me to one of your other topics: The Mind of God. "My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts." How wise we are when we accept that and let God be God. I sense you don't see a purpose in your loss, that you are just stringing along somewhat reluctantly on faith. Just trusting that God has a purpose (even if I haven't a clue what it is) has been a comfort for me. Don't you, in a strange sense, feel specially called by God, set apart by your suffering? Don't you think, in the long run, that it is a good thing that some of the "spiritual fluff" has been burned away? Your Christian experience transcended the academic two years ago. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, God has rough-handled you so much that you are becoming REAL. Rejoice.

So. On to the daily reality . . .

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