Art and Prayer,  Praying with Trees,  Visio Divina

Sketching as Prayer

Yesterday we had our Spring Sketching as Prayer retreat at church, and it was a very refreshing day for me. While I enjoyed doing the retreat via Zoom in January, and it was great to see people from all across the United States and even one person in England, it was much more relaxing for me to lead a retreat locally. Not having to keep much technology in mind allowed me to really relax and experience the day as a retreat for myself as well.

It’s interesting that, although I very much need and appreciate time alone at home, it sometimes seems that “solitude” with other people can be powerful in ways that I often don’t experience at home. Yesterday we started out both the morning and afternoon sessions with me giving a brief power point presentation with a little bit of group discussion, then we all dispersed and had almost two hours to observe, ponder, pray, sketch, and/or journal. Because it was a very rainy day we all stayed inside, but fortunately our church and parsonage have plenty of space with windows looking out over the grounds. I found it particularly cozy and soothing to be inside listening to the rain.

With both sessions I simply started out sketching something that caught my attention, and it was only after I’d sketched for a while that my thoughts turned toward prayer and pondering on what the scene might have for me, what God might be impressing on me through my musings and sketching.

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