This Sunday I was given a reminder of an important discipline for artists.  Grady, one of the young adults in a small group that I lead, shared with me his sketchbook.  As I flipped through his sketches, I realized that it was one of the disciplines that I had let fall by the wayside.  When I was a student in Art School, we were required to keep an ongoing sketchpad.  It was meant to serve as both a discipline and potential source of inspiration, much like our prayer lives are meant to serve as both a discipline and source of inspiration.  As of late, I have found myself uninspired.  What better time to pick up a discipline, a practice that helps me to keep creating, even when I may not feel it.  There were times in the life of John Wesley (cofounder of the Methodist movement) where he struggled with his faith, his calling, and his ministry.  Along the way he met a Moravian missionary chap named Peter Böhler.  Peter said to Wesley:   "preach faith until you have it, then because you have faith you will preach it."  So it is for artists.  Even when we are uninspired we keep creating until we feel inspired.  So it is with our prayer lives.  Even when we do not feel like praying, and the gap between us and God seems ever wide, we keep praying, we keep practicing the spiritual disciplines  until, once again, we feel God's presence who was there all along.

So here is my first sketch (in a very long time):


Downcast (Pencil on Paper)

In case you cannot read the words they are as follows:

My eyes are downcast

     In the midst of it,

     I cry to you, O Lord.

Feeling lost and uninspired.

     Yet still I pray.

     Yet still I sketch.

     Yet still I paint.

I practice the disciplines

     In the hope of

          encountering You

     In the hope of

          encountering joy

     In the hope of

          encountering peace.

I create

     Because I am created

     Because I am made in the image of the One who is Creator.

I press on because I know You are faithful

I press on because even though I may not feel it

     You are always with me

          Breathing into me . . . new life,

          Loving me . . . just as I am.

 All paintings, drawings, Ideas, and wording on this webpage are copyrighted by the artist.  
© 2010 Charissa Jaeger-Sanders.  All Rights Reserved.  You are welcome to use the ideas and suggestions found on this website, for no fee, as long as you give credit to Grace Works Studio.  However, if you Find this Website helpful, please consider giving a donation to Grace Works Studio to help continue its ministry.