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Week of: June 18, 2017
Scripture: Matthew 9:35-10:8, (9-23)
... gave them authority ... to cure every disease and every sickness.
(Matthew 10:1b, NRSV)
Numerous studies indicate the importance of the arts in the healing process. One of the most incredible instances of this impact involves a middle-aged female participant in the UMAR Arts Center in Charlotte, NC. UMAR is a United Methodist agency that provides a home and support for adults with disabilities. At the UMAR Arts Center, residents engage in visual arts as a means of self-expression that has had a healing effect upon many participants.
Several years ago, one participant who could not communicate verbally, whom I shall call Mary, was barely able to pick up a brush and paint a line when she started. On one visit, the director enthusiastically showed me Mary's latest painting.
"Can you tell what it is?" she asked excitedly. "Of course," I replied, "I can see mountains, a lake and grass!"
This was the first piece of work that communicated to me some of Mary's thoughts. Healing was taking place! Though some observers of her work may tend to dismiss it as a juvenile attempt at painting, I thought it was the most beautiful painting I had ever seen because God was working through it in a miraculous way.
Wondrous God, open our eyes to the miracles taking place around us each day. Amen.
Top Photo: A painting titled "Weeping Willow," created by a participant in the UMAR Arts Center in Charlotte.
Right Photo: A mixed media piece titled "Angels Watching Over Us," created by a participant in the UMAR Arts Center in Charlotte.
Left Photo: A mixed media piece created by a participant in the UMAR Arts Center in Charlotte.
Special thanks to UMAR for sharing these pieces with us!