"Breathe" - artist Kathy Self
More and more, I find myself being drawn to art as a way to meditate and pray. (If you want a nearly perfect example of this, read Henri Nouwen's The Prodigal Son.)

In my office, I have some beautiful art. One is a small framed piece showing four places in Assisi that played a tremendous role in the life of St. Francis. Above that is an icon of the Nativity, and above that, a simple, small crucifix. I gaze at those frequently.

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Kathy Self, an artist whose work expresses this:

Color, light, and texture are the windows through which the mystery of God’s grace appears to me. The common grace of a fresh day, of quietly growing leaves that nourish every plant, and the healing prayers that reach the depths of my soul; each of these illumine my mind, bringing to remembrance the wonder and mystery of life.

It's one thing to own a piece of art; it's quite another to be able to speak with the artist who created it. This piece spoke to me, and after talking to Kathy, I knew it was meant for my home. 

Kathy told me it represents the breath of God that imbues all of us with His life. It's also a reminder for us to take time to breath: to meditate, relax, enjoy God's presence. As an artist, she also talked about negative and positive space in the painting, and how our lungs are negative space. In fact, when they get filled with something that's not supposed to be there (bacteria, liquid, etc.), they don't work. Our lives are like this. We need the negative space in our life in order for God to work.

Take a moment to look at her art. Enjoy.

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