Sunday, 22 April 2012

Little April Shower

So half of England has officially been declared in drought, and as if the sky somehow heard we've had rain every day for the past week.  It won't be enough to fix everything all in one go, but it's a good start.  

I actually really enjoy rain (moreso when I'm heading home or when I've planned for it than not) and watching it out the window is always a joy.  For some reason this last week it's made me want to draw, and I've certainly had the inspiration!

These guys are the mid-week group I go to.  It's basically mini-church with more biscuits, but this week really broke the mold.  I rolled up at my friends house, late and harried after a frantic day, to find them setting up a tent in the back garden, with rain impending.  Most people would say "the weather's nice, let's have group inside", but not this lot - "The weather's rubbish, let's have group outside!"  So we did, in the tent, hot chocolate, bums on bean bags and boots off.  It was loud and silly and Dave spent most of it in a sleeping bag like some massive green caterpillar, but we got into some serious praying at the end and being in that small space together, with God so close and the rain pounding down, it was something pretty special.
Edit: Phil (top let, eating the biscuit) has asked for a higher res copy so he can print it out and frame it.  I am both flattered and touched :)

Here's something a bit more unlikely, also featuring rain:

I think I'm probably channeling Studio Ghibli's Arriety, which has some beautiful scenes in the rain, and Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Johnny Town Mouse.  I remember watching an animated version of it as a kid, and the image of the little country mouse Timmy Willie walking through the rain with a pitcher of milk in one hand and a leaf-umbrella in the other.

Beatrix Potter's original illustration

Last of all, I tried out something new this week - Speed Drawing!  My friend Liz was trying to find a new way to explain the Bible stories at church to the kids in a way that would keep their interest.  She saw me draw something in a hurry and texted me with an idea: she would read out the story as simply as she could, and I would race like mad to keep up with a flip chart and markers.  It was a lot of fun although that, coupled with the challenge of drawing sideways across an A-frame so everyone could see, made it nearly impossible to draw any kind of neatly.  Yet afterwards half a dozen people came up to me and said what a good idea it was, and how great the drawings were, and how much the kids enjoyed it, and could we do it again sometime.  Absolutely!

Acts 12: 1-18  I like Peter, the guy on the left.  I seem to have drawn him looking a bit like Rolf Harris
One woman came up to me afterwards and said something very interesting.  We'd never met or spoken before but she told me she'd been watching and praying during the service, and that she felt strongly that this drawing thing I do was going to grow.  That I'd find it was the perfect way for capturing kid's minds, connecting with their imaginations, for telling stories.  That it was going to be a big thing for me.  Sometimes it's easier to believe the people we've never met before, who we know have no reason to make us feel good, and no way of finding out if their words ever came true.  What an encouraging thing to hear from a perfect stranger!

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