Dear God, on behalf  of preachers I pray…

May you be weak kneed – so that you feel the inclination often to bend them

May you be short-sighted – so that you neither fall in love with your own reflection nor take fright at the expressions of those who listen to you

May you be flat-footed – that you might stand your ground firmly on the Word which God has given you

May you be forgetful – that you might forget those things which would crowd in and occupy your mind just at the moment when you preach

May you be hard of hearing – so that you are not readily influenced by mere noise, but that you listen hard to hear God’s quiet voice

May you be as holey as you are holy – with lots of little perforations where the world can seep in and the Spirit can leach out.

Amen

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Below is one of my all-time favourite paintings.  It doesn’t have the ethereal beauty of a Monet or the moody intensity of a Turner. It lacks the brush work of a Rembrandt or the light and shade of a Vermeer. Not only that , but its title ‘clairvoyance‘ is enough to put many preachers off – let alone the fact that much of Magritte’s other work shows a preoccupation with sexuality to make your toes curl!

Despite all of that, this painting inspires me. As I mentioned earlier, I love to paint when I preach, and I want to paint like the man in the picture.  Where I see sinners, God sees potential saints. Where I see brokenness, God sees restoration. Where I see failure, God sees the potential for success.  In other words God has clairvoyance – or clear-seeing,and I’m longing to have some of it myself in 2011.

Picture: flickr

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