The next verse that speaks to an illuminated life comes from Psalm 4. After spending time in Job, I felt a little in awe of the bold beginning to this Psalm: “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness.” Sometimes I feel like we aren’t really quite ready for God to answer us. Before long, however, I was singing a song I learned as a kid (Does anyone else remember this song?)….
The line from the song that was stuck in my head…”I know he’ll answer me when I call.”
But I really wanted to read this Psalm in relation to the question: “What does an illuminated life look like?” A couple points came to mind:
The Psalmist asks: “How long shall my honor be turned to shame?” I can only guess what happened to him, but it’s easy to relate these words to moments in our own lives where maybe someone misread us or chose to believe or spread untruths. “Living in the light” means living with the awareness that God knows the truth about us and sees our heart. It’s humbling to consider the Psalmist’s words that we have been set apart for God and that God hears our prayers. Then the Psalmist says “Be angry and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your bed and be silent.” This is wise counsel when unsettling, crazy talk begins. The best advice is to simply trust God through these times. The prayer that made it to my margins comes next: “Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord.” When we feel the warmth and light of God’s love radiating all around us, it heals any pain we may have. We feel the joy in our heart that comes from God alone, joy greater than knowing all our physical needs are secured. And we can sleep in peace, knowing that God will keep us safe. An illuminated life means joy and peace where others might have troubled nights
For my birthday, my husband gave me a set of PanPastels. They are a little expensive; I’ve waited a long time for them, but I am so happy with them!!! It is tricky to find the right way to add color to the background of the page. PanPastels are a great option: I love their vibrant and bright colors. Using them for the first time felt easy and intuitive. They are not at all messy, which is a plus for me. The color is transparent which works well with my work flow: pencil first, micron pen, eraser for stray pencil marks, add color last. Since they go on dry, they don’t wrinkle the page the way water colors do. I sprayed the page with fixative when finished, which also did not seem to wrinkle the page. The colors can be layered and blended for all kinds of neat effects. When I went to Michael’s for the fixative, I found a stencil with sunbeams from Tim Holz and knew that it had to go on this page: