He Must Increase

This is the last of the bonus prompts from Lisa Nichols Hickman.  (I still have one more prompt from her book Writing in the Margins.)

She asked us to reread the story of the woman caught in adultery.  She suggested that when Jesus bent down to write in the sand that perhaps he wrote a note to the woman.  She suggested answering the question:  What would Jesus write in the sand to you?

Looking at my notes from the Illustrated Faith event, what I wrote down on my hand-out:  “Get out of the way.”  At the time, what I thought I meant was that Jesus would like me to create more space for God to be at work in my life.  But “Get out of the way” also seems like good advice when you are standing before a big crowd contemplating throwing stones at you.

Since I have already heavily illustrated the page with the story of the woman caught in adultery, I decided to look for a verse that speaks to me about stepping back and making more room for Jesus.  I decided to illustrate a quote from St. John the Babtist, who said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

I thought I’d share some in progress photos this time.  After months of waiting, I finally have some Art Basics clear gesso!  It was totally worth waiting for!  My first experience with gesso was kind of a disaster.  The gesso was something I picked up at a craft store that was thick, left brush strokes, and was almost impossible to write on.  Art Basics clear gesso was a much better experience!  It prevented the Distress Inks from bleeding through the page and still provided a nice smooth, surface for writing.  I would highly recommend it!

A new friend at the Illustrated Faith event showed me how to use sticky notes to mask part of the page:


The page wrinkled after I put the gesso on, but it flattens as it dries (Don’t stress!!!):


I applied some Distress ink:


And wrote down the verse:


After rereading this passage (John 3:27-30):

A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given from heaven.  You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, “’I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.”  The one who has the bride is the bridegroom.  The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegrooms’ voice.  Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.  He must increase, but I must decrease.

I found myself praying:  Lord, help me love and honor you as a best man would honor the groom at a wedding!  Just for fun, I looked over a list of best man’s duties on the knot.  I laughed a little thinking about the job of planning a bachelor party for Jesus, but it’s also the best man’s job to be a faithful witness, to give a toast to the couple (which often ends up being a testimony), to carry the ring (a sign of the covenant), to help do whatever the groom asks, to dance and to enjoy the event, to basically help the groom shine on the couple’s wedding day.  I think these are all beautiful examples of what it means to let Jesus increase!

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