Back in June 2020, I was invited to paint for the Sunday video service – something on the theme of “Peace” to go with the title track from a recent Bethel album. Here’s a little of the back-story, to encourage you in your creativity…
When looking for inspiration, I’ve learned to go with my first thought, once I’ve asked the Holy Spirit – sometimes, in fact, I get an idea before I’ve even finished my prayer.
This doodle shows my first thoughts. It was a simple concept, and within my artistic ability (but it was tempting, at first, to think it was too simple).
Next day, I decided to include the Hebrew word for peace, “Shalom.” Following Christen Forster’s teaching, I focus on the Hebrew letters (consonants) without the dots for the vowel-sounds, so I came up with:
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A few days later I googled “Shalom images” and discovered an error – the correct spelling is:
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Altogether, I painted the scene three times, each with the video recording. It was good to learn that, if I can create something once, then I can create it again with equally good results!
When you want to play the keyboard, you first have to plug in your headphones, adjust your music-rest and find a seat that’s the right height! Or for the guitar, it’s about notes, chords and rhythm – but you must also learn the technical details, how to tune the strings, and even how to replace a broken string.
For my art-video, I had to think up some way of holding the video-camera while I was painting. I came up with a gadget of wood, metal and Velcro holding my iPhone steady with the camera looking down towards my painting.
Carrying Heaven’s Peace
Once I had faffed around with the technicalities, how was I going to get myself into a peaceful, worshipping mood, so that I could paint a peaceful picture? I needed peace inside me before I could paint peace onto the paper! I had to spend time, quietly stilling my heart, dumping my anxieties onto Jesus’ cross and feeding my heart on peace.
My gift to you, dear reader, is a door back into Heaven’s peace, whenever you need it! Here’s a prayer for you to say:
“Holy Spirit, peace is one of your fruit (see Galatians 5 v 22). I come to your fruit-tree now and receive, in my heart, your fruit of peace.”
Listening to worship music helped – the song that Nay chose is part of the album “Peace” from Bethel Music. I played this on repeat until it stuck in my head!
Finally, I got the process of painting onto a sequence of 4 short videos. Nay advised me to use WeTransfer.com so I could send the video-files over to Beth and Adam. I don’t know how long it took them to edit the sections of video alongside Nay’s singing, but I was humbled to hear Adam tell me, recently, that he deliberately maintains a worship-atmosphere when he is alone with his video software. “It is a joy for me to be doing it,” he said, “It’s like an amplifier – so our worship can be sent out to thousands.”
So now my painting-video, first seen on 28 June 2020, is kept in a database with all our other songs and is available for you again, right now. Please take some time to receive God’s peace and comfort.
One last invitation: What is your creativity – Artistic? Musical? Technical gadgets? Business ideas or computer logic? If you have an idea, please get in touch with Adam, Beth or myself, and we will definitely encourage you to release God’s creativity throughout this beautiful world!
*Richard's painting was part of a reflective creative worship video. You can view the longer video (10 minutes) here*
Richard Whiffen - Maidenhead Congregation