The Clearing

Advent Week 3: BIRTH

“Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14

Take time this season of advent to consider the elements of this series built upon works presented by the CREATE! collective in partnership with the Center.  You will experience the creative expressions focused on four movements in the coming weeks:  CONCEIVE | GROW | BIRTH | HOLD. You are invited to seek your own reflection and response as you wander through this organic gallery.  Let each of us share in the joy and anticipation of what arises as we journey together in the Spirit…

Isaiah 9:6a
For to us a child is born…

Birth is: 
Crossing of a threshold,
Coming through and then out
New Life

Can you imagine:
The power of birth?
Jesus’ birth?
What is birthing in your life?
What is birthing in creation?
Express what you notice.

Acrylic on canvas
Artist: Elise Hurst
Lubbock, Texas

Mixed Media
Artist: Kathy Milans
Wilmore, KY

By: April Fearon
Caldwell, ID

The sand irritates
As I find it in places it doesn’t belong

In the oyster it irritates
And grows into a pearl, strong

For them in birth?
So what does my birthing entail?

I die to what’s been
To how I’ve been
To who I’ve been
I die to the me without new life

This me curls around the birthed
We need time to learn new rhythms

At least in death and birth
I live
Unlike the oyster

Author’s notes: I feel like this poem might seem depressing. But I also know the truth of it as every birth includes a death… and every death includes a birth. I trust that I am becoming more “me” through each death and birth–always reborn unto the creation I’m called to be. – April Fearon

Artist: Jackie Royster
Frankfort, KY

By: Jackie Royster
Frankfort, KY

Hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed
life spark embarks on terrifying journey from the
Safety of Divine Love fluids
where she was encircled, soothed by
Heaven’s heartbeat.

Squashed. Mashed. Nearly flattened by
rhythmic squeezing
She fights the dark night journey until…

Surrendering to Love’s stripping, Purifying Pulse
she is birthed into larger light.

Artist’s Notes:
I stumbled upon four momma cats and 13 kittens in early September when a renter moved out and I heard them making noises in the open garage. My momma cat in the picture is a wild feral momma I call Sarah Sue. She is a beautiful long haired muted tortoiseshell cat, and she rejected her four kittens. I buried three and have raised one from around four days old. She still will have nothing to do with my little one, Charlie Sims, 13 weeks later. I had her fixed and I can feel in her energy that she is happy she longer has to worry about having kittens. As if she had already seen enough of them die on the streets. She was just done. She has filled out nicely, being fed twice a day, and become very loving and protective of me. Her coat has gotten a little less wild since she now lets me comb it occasionally. The father is a regal dignified handsome cat. He struts with such pride! My heart hurts when I reflect on how these beautiful creatures of God came to be alone and unprotected, for a time. I thank God for opening my eyes and heart to be able to care for more than my three very loved and spoiled doggies! All God’s creations are beautifully and wonderfully made.

Feral Cat Family – Birth of Kittens
Acrylic on Canvas
Artist: Tammie Breedlove
Ocala, FL

Artist: Lyn Shanahan
Ocala, FL

By Maria Baber
Cartersville, VA

Genesis and John
The cosmos
Exploding, imploding
In the mega time instance
So immense
No eye can see….

The microcosmos
Exploding, imploding
In the mega time instance
So small
No eye can see….

Faith reveals
Light overcoming Darkness….

Acrylic on canvas
Artist: Laura Baber
Ocala, FL

Artist: Gloria McPherson
Bloomfield, PA

Artist’s Notes: After sheltering and growing, new life is birthed, into the chaos of the world. Joyful, unknown, with an unexpected future. The need for comfort, nurturing, love, and community continue. The third in my series. – Gloria McPherson

Take time to consider…

  • Where are you seeking new life to rise in you?  What might you want to seed and nurture within yourself in this life season?
  • How do you experience joy in the Spirit?  Reflect upon the Spirit’s presence of joy you have known – recall your thoughts and feelings as you consider an expression of gratitude.
  • Are there particular pieces of your life you are seeking the fullness of joy of the Spirit?  In the quiet, you are invited to express a prayer seeking God’s joy.