The next prompt from Writing in the Margins:
Choose a text that has troubled you or challenged you at some point in your life, and have a conversation with the text. Perhaps even use conversation bubbles in the style of a comic strip. God speaks from the left, you speak from the right. Draw a series of bubbles. Fill the bubbles with a conversation between you and God about the particular text.
The text I chose was “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The pages from Jesus Sermon on the Mount are quickly getting filled up (and I’m mostly following Lisa Nichol Hickman’s suggestions). I feel like the Sermon on the Mount is central to what it means to practice Christianity, and it’s hard. I love the words of Jesus, but I always feel a bit discouraged, as in “I’ll never fully be able to put these words into daily practice.” And in the midst of it all is this exhortation to “Be perfect.”
So I had a little conversation with the text and doing so helped me read the text in a completely fresh way. I’ve always been so focused on my own inadequacies that I completely failed to see that this verse isn’t about us at all. It’s about God. God loves us perfectly. God loves all of us. He makes the sun to shine on everyone! We can practice at loving others this way, but really only Jesus loves perfectly. And when we grasp how perfectly God loves us, we can express love more easily ourselves.
I did another tipped-in page, and this time I decorated the back of the page for whenever I need a reminder of God’s perfect love! I hope these pictures show that Bible Journaling can be simple and easy and still life changing! Journaling the Bible is all about engaging the text in a new way.
God: Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Me: God, I fall so short in so many ways.
God: Love perfectly; love everyone I bring into your life.
Me: But God, I have trouble being patient and kind even to those most dear to me.
God: Keep practicing.
Me: I’ve been at this a long time. I’ll never get there.
God: Then surrender. Let Jesus be your perfection.
Me: Come, Lord Jesus!