Advent Week 3: Darkness
“There is a reason the sky gets dark at night – we were not meant to see everything all the time. We were meant to rest and trust even in the darkness.”
– Morgan Harper Nichols
Advent, like many things tied to the liturgical calendar, invites us to experience His presence viscerally. From advent candles and wreaths, to fasting practices during Lent, we’re meant to reflect and experience these seasons in our bodies and minds.
This week, we want to invite you into a tactile practice that can help us see where God is present with us, even in our darkest moments. Perhaps, as Nichols writes, we were meant to rest and trust, even then.
ADVENT ART PRACTICE
“Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Advent is the night… but the joy is coming.
If you want to explore this practice or learn how art therapy can be used well, start here: https://olivetreecounseling.org/the-language-of-art/
For this exercise you’ll want to gather some materials ahead of time, including at least two pieces of paper, drawing utensils (i.e. pens, markers, paints, crayons, whatever you have and prefer), and glue or tape.
FROM A DARK SITUATION…
- Lay one piece of paper out on the table before you and consider a situation or event that feels burdened by darkness right now.
- For this next step, you can do whatever feels the most comfortable for you – either draw images or scribble with colors and textures to express these feelings, or write out thoughts about this situation on the pages like a journal.
- When you’ve completed these thoughts or artwork, tear the page into several pieces.
- Now, take as long as you need and prayerfullly spend time to use these pieces of paper to create a new piece of art. Perhaps ask yourself how you might wait on God in this darkness, or how he may come and meet you there, and transform you or the situation. This could be a tree or flower with the pieces of paper as the leaves, or shapes into a new word, or anything else that comes to you.
- Hang the art in a place you can come back to in the coming weeks to remember that God can work ALL things together for His good. But more than that, to remember that even in the dark, He is here.
You can read more about this practice and see ideas of how they’ve done this here: https://creativityintherapy.com/2019/07/torn-paper-transformations/
“I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent.
For this is still the time God chooses.”
May you feel God’s presence fully this Christmas season, wherever you find yourself in the world, and however dark your moments appear.