Jesus Belongs to Me
You know how it is when you get something stuck in your mind? A song you haven’t thought of in years, suddenly repeats in your head endlessly. Or you keep dreaming and scheming about something you want to do, even though you haven’t time to do one more thing, but already have plenty of things to do already.
A magazine illustration had attracted me for a long time. It had pleasing color contrasts and wispy, feathery lines. I wanted to create something using the same colors, with trailing lines. But the urge always came when I needed to do something else rather urgently. Finally I couldn’t stand it any longer – I needed to create “that look”. Or at least to use those colors.
I settled for some quickie pastel (artist’s chalk) sketches. The illustration was on an attractively streaked blue background. My blue paper was a duller shade, and minus the fetching decorative effects. My pastels weren’t as bright or neon-y as those in the magazine design. The chalk wouldn’t lend itself to the picture’s transparency showing pretty lines underneath parts of the final layers.
But I’d thought of that picture – and postponed action of my own -- for weeks. And I could envision my color combinations making pleasant work. (As a matter of fact, the first foray turned out to be so much fun I got out other colors of paper and quickly made several other squiggly-line drawings.) Thus did my creativity get the “doing of the thing” unstuck from my mind.
I do always try to offer my art, and everything else I do, as a worship to God. As it happened, I also had a song stuck in my mind (an old hymn).
Now I belong to Jesus,
Jesus belongs to me –
Not for the years of time alone,
But for eternity.
I grew tired of my mind echoing the same little chorus over and over. But I couldn’t get the song unstuck from my brain. Along the way, however, the “Jesus belongs to me” part illuminated itself as vividly as my brightly swirled lines were brightening the papers.
We are so often admonished to keep our faith. “A Christian ought not to have doubts.” “Don’t give in the fear.” “Don’t allow negative thoughts.” “God always sends revival when people repent and pray, so if you’re not experiencing revival, you need to repent of not spending enough time with God.” “Don’t lose your first love.” “Give and it shall be given to you.” “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.” “Forsake not the assembly of believers, as some have done.” Agggrrr! There can be so much WORK to being a Christian. So much trying to get it right -- “Now I belong to Jesus” (so I ought to be good, and kind, and holy.) The persons who keep pushing these ideas mean well enough. Certainly I’m not advocating we are to be slackers for God. But all the good advice is enough to wear me out.
But – “Jesus belongs to me!” Well, that says something different to me. Yes, I know we are “in Christ”, that we are born again, that “the Lord inhabits the praises of his people.” I believe his promises (not my own ability to believe, but his faithfulness at “keeping” me). So because “Jesus belongs to me”, I can cheerfully accept the verse from Ephesians chapter 1 that says “and all things happen just as he decided long ago.”
(It’s not that now I’ve had some new revelation that I’d never thought of before. It’s just that the daily burdens of life make me forget who I am in Jesus, and who he is in me. I need all the reminders and refreshings I can get!)
Whew! It’s not my work to “keep” myself. Jesus belongs to me. He won’t let go of my hand. He won’t stop guiding me, comforting me. He continually offers me HIMSELF.
(He’s much better at drawing imaginative, bright scrolly lines in me, in my life-circumstances, than I am of envisioning what he’s working on in me.) Wow! I think I just unstuck my mind, both from hearing that song playing on and on in my head not letting in any other praise-him-song, and from trying to think how I can be the most pleasing to him.
For all of that, I can truly say with the Psalmist, “My lines have fallen in pleasant places.”
copyright 2011 by Marilee Miller
This post is also shared with L. L. Barkat's "Seedlings in Stone" On, In, and Around Mondays
And with Laura Boggess' "The Wellspring" Playdates with God