Coloring

There is a saying that music transcends all barriers. Color can do that as well. When we add pigment to a black and white drawing a wonderful act of co-creation happens, not unlike a musician interpreting the notes a composer wrote.

Whether or not you are one of the thousands of people who have re-discovered coloring as a beautiful and calming discipline, I would ask you to consider it as a spiritual practice.

What makes the difference between coloring as a calming activity and coloring as a spiritual practice? The same thing that makes one piece of music spiritual and another decidedly not.  It’s the same thing that makes some sunsets a communion with God and other sunsets just a cue to get supper started.

When your soul is focused on prayer or a verse from the Bible, or a poem, and your mind is focused on the creation of art, then it is most certainly a time with God. Try focusing on one person. Or a single word. Or a verse from scripture while you are coloring. That person or idea will sit with you and be a part of the experience.

Here is a true confession. As much as I love all these spiritual practices, I have a really hard time with the discipline of daily practice. I love my Lectio Divina group and my Contemplative Prayer group, but each time I tried to start a daily practice, I petered out – sometimes after just a few days.

Now I have found something that I have been able to stick with for several months and counting! My coloring pages and my water color pencils are sitting right next to the kitchen table. Every morning I can co-create with pigment and co-respond with God while I sip my morning coffee.  I am a convert, and it seems like every day I see more and more coloring pages specifically drawn as a God-pointer.

If you use your (precious) time to direct your thoughts to God, to connect to Love and to the Creator, it can be a holy, thin space right there at the kitchen table, or on a park bench, or in the lunchroom at work.   You can almost hear the music of color.

Books

Please read Praying in Color; Drawing a New Path to God by Sybil MacBeth. She encourages drawing as well as coloring, and her gentle wisdom lures you into prayer.

Some coloring books that are a joy and open flat:
Words of Faith; A Coloring Book to Bless and De-Stress, Paraclete Press

The Advent Coloring Calendar; A Coloring Book to Bless and De-Stress Through the Season, Paraclete Press

Celtic Blessings; A Coloring Book to Bless and De-Stress, Paraclete Press

A calendar for 2016:
The Green Saints and Mystics by Clear Faith Publishers (who brought us the Homilists for the Homeless)

Coloring Pages

Here you can find the artwork of Vonda Drees:

A mandala to color.

This is a basic mandala form, if you want to try one yourself.

Other Resources

Vonda Dress Journaling the Spirit’s Stirring.

Resources at Praying in Color.com