Artful Obedience, even in the worst of times
Jan Richardson writes in In the Sanctuary of Women
“In her book Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, Madeleine L’Engle writes about Mary, the mother of Jesus – a woman who, like Harriet Powers [an emancipated slave and quiltmaker], knew what it meant to proclaim the good news with the creative means she had at hand. For Mary, proclamation came not only in the form of a song that we have come to know as the Magnificat; it also came in her own being, in giving her own self, her own body, to bear God into the world. …
In the creative process, being obedient to the work, as L’Engle describes, calls us to trust that the work knows more than we ourselves know. Exerting too much control over the process can damage the work and us as well. Artful obedience requires intention and discernment. It requires attention to the demands of the work, to its rhythms and needs, and to the mystery that lies at its heart.”
And sometimes, the swirl of circumstances prohibits waiting. It demands that we break the rules to obey the law. The work of prayer invites the One who knows more than we know and loves more than we ever can.