Lately I’ve been more than a little intimidated by the pictures people are posting of their Scripture art-journaling on social media, probably because they make my own quiet-time doodling look like the work of a five-year-old. Though I’ve been marking up my Scripture reading and prayers with pens and colored pencils for several years, my colorful masterpieces are not crafted for public consumption.
Scroll through hashtags like #illustratedfaith and #biblejournaling and you’ll see that women are not only spending such valuable time in God’s Word but also communing with each other about their experience, sharing from the deeper places of their hearts with such amazing creativity.
Why has this become such a craze, with literally thousands of websites, books, Bibles, and even kits designed to turn us all into spiritual Van Goghs? There are many reasons: Breaking out the art supplies and opening God’s Word takes us back to a simpler, less stressful time, and it reminds us of what it is like just to be a child in God’s presence. It gives us a hobby to connect with our sisters in Christ. But beyond that, drawing, note-taking, and doodling engages us in the text in a new and often needed way. It helps counter the malady philosopher and theologian David Wells calls the “affliction” of this age: distraction.
Simply put, because of our incessant use of technology, even for Bible reading and prayer, our brains are being rewired so that it is almost impossible to spend time in quiet with God. In a buzzy, flashy, screen-filled age, we struggle to just be still and know. When we do try, our minds flit here and there, and we feel so anxious and restless that we soon give up. We need ways to counteract the negative impact of digital life, and Scripture or prayer art journaling does just that.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Tricia McCary Rhodes