Now, back to the beginning.
First, what is "lettering" or "modern calligraphy"?
It's defined as the art of writing words in a design or style using special writing instruments. It's a styled writing that is not traditional calligraphy. Brush pens are the most popular tool used, and dip pens with pointed steel nibs and bottled ink are also used for both modern and traditional calligaphy (which I have also started learning).
...has been my personal way of slowing down and taking time to dwell on the words that we read in the Bible and sing on Sunday mornings. Creativity and art have always been in my blood, but it was only since November of last year that I started lettering the lyrics of the praise songs that we would sing for the upcoming Sunday as a way to dwell on them and prepare my heart for the worship service. How do you like to prepare for Sunday worship?
A few months ago, I did a "series" in which I lettered and painted Isaiah 43, one verse each day for almost a month. (See the gallery below for a few verses from the series.) Some pieces took me 5 minutes and others, twenty; but by separating some time to meditate on just one verse at a time and repeat it again and again in my head as I worked, these verses became much more meaningful to me. The truth behind God's promises spoken in Isaiah 43 sank into my soul that much deeper: that Israel's King, the Creator, the Holy One, was relentlessly pursuing his people to call them back to him. God is faithful! How do you like to meditate on God's Word?
The last thing I expected to result from this hobby was to become a part of a community of Christian women who seek after God with their talent. I've "met" ladies who love Jesus and share their hearts and the ups and downs of their faith journeys with no fear and only the desire to encourage others and praise God with the very creativity that He gifted them with.
Where are they all from? Oh, California... Alabama... Singapore... the UK... Japan... You name it!
How was this community formed? Online through the wonderful portal of Instagram. (If you've never used Instagram before, it's another type of social media on which only pictures are posted. From your account, you can upload and share pictures and write a caption, as well as "follow" other accounts that you find interesting. They can be personal acquaintances or public accounts and businesses.)
But is it really a community? To my great surprise, yes. When a sister in Christ shares her thoughts or praise to God in a post, other followers read and reply (much like a blog!). The more we encourage each other, the more we point each other toward Christ, the more we praise God together and rejoice together, the more we empathize in times of pain, the more we ask for prayer and respond in prayer together, the more the community is strengthened as is our faith. Personally, it has been a completely unexpected treasure to find such women of faith through a hobby that started as just an outlet and a way to slow down.
If you have an Instagram account, I recommend these letterers/calligraphers: Grace @letterin.gee ; Jenn @lovethatletters ; Younghae @logos_calligraphy ; Susan @gracelightletters ; Ruth @gracelaced ; and Anja @worksreclaimed
Isn't this what we are called to do on a regular basis with our own church and friends? I love that God built us to be a community, to be a BODY. Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12: "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ" (verse 12), and "If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it" (verse 26).
I hope that our growth in communion never finds a ceiling. How will you (or your group) intentionally support another member/group of the church? How do you suffer together? rejoice together?