Cathedral’s Heart

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soundless, light descends to declare

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otherworldly love of detail

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the northern pine woods frame and breathe the heart of a cathedral

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manifold vertical lines

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seek to bind

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earth and heaven, man and God

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tall airy weightless pines

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remind me

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who calls you toward heaven

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and created this space

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wide enough to fit our chaos

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offering us to the Father of lights

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we dwell here afflicted by shadows

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sharp fear, dimming confusion, the waiting of change

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yet there is a stillness

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older than the trees

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who endures

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and whose seeing Heart casts no shadow.

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The Vibrant Hum of Light and Design-Made-Pattern

A Language spoken-sung, breathed; inhaled and exhaled from the undistractedly patterned lives of tiny creatures ◆ A Song I could not quite hear, though with it the path was soaked through as the generous July sun ◆ A minute, teeming drop of nature clinging to its original purpose, glowing with Life; a remnant ◆ A wanderer trying to understand and being swept into its current, having forgotten something the flowers and bees still remember…

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Templates borne and realized in living, nobly and without shame.

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Work and purpose lived, beauty and design’s intent: intertwined.

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The hum of light and nature’s feasting unseen.

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The dignity in a hummingbird-being’s secret rest.

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The uncanny and safe-making unity of flying birds. || Away. The dual flock, I.

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|| Gather. The dual flock, II.

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|| Still. The dual flock, III.

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Setting and pattern echo the Garden. The communion of nature and light, and we its fallen royals…

Creator King, reteach us the Song, sow still its seed. Speak to us the language of Your Kingdom, that we may hesitantly pronounce words and phrases now… And sing freely and fluently in Fullness. Restore all with Your Breath of Life. Overlook not Your lost and ruined Image-bearers, who have forgotten and ignored much Good. We root ourselves in Your faithfulness. AMEN.

Captured 7.24.15.

All photographs and words by Kelly Grace Collins, all rights reserved.

One wisp of Conversation caught in the wind.

Drink a song
and breathe the forest
Come and find
Me waiting

I’ll show you Glimpses, visions–
only a white thread of light through the lock of your soul,
as the faint beam of a star through shield of atmosphere
    For more than that is more than you can bear.

Come, Child, dance with Me
We’ve many roads to wander
    I’ll not let go

I delight in moments of hiddenness from all sight save Yours
I imagine Your eyes brimmed with love, observing; I glow in Your gaze
I need to let You watch for danger
    or I’ll never be free to play

Souls are deep and complicated, precise workings
Landscapes interlace within
    Do You see me there, praying?

If only You would rend my being reverse, inside out–
all strands of soul-dwelling Light would become my clothing
    Faith as sight, You my covering

Why do I take refuge in the transient, placing my hope in change
it’s all I’ve ever known
But even the faintest touch of You is a vast underneath-ness, sustaining, carrying
    as the lowest notes and the sound of a near sea…

Hide in the moment with Me;
I am where you are

I hold fast the moving suns–
I made you and your waiting worlds within

You are wild as I am, Child
you can dance in the desert, or wrestle with Me–
    for {I know where the water is} …


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These words have waited a while to be seen, but here they are at last.
First caught in May.

He has so many secrets.

“I am Joseph”

In need, the long-promised eleven surround this discerning and mighty ruler once a brother, once a slave. The moment the dream came true and Joseph saw stars. Memories surged: belittled, betrayed, broken… abandoned. Yet, impossibly, for these same wounding ones it was only love which coursed from his eyes. The golden power of Egypt cast aside that they may come close, know his face.

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“I am Joseph” by K Grace Collins. Oil pastel, 9 X 12 in. All rights reserved.

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The LORD’s mysterious affection for life inversions brought Joseph through a much-dark and winding way, His love and faithfulness forging and bounding the tight twists and turns, the pattern known only to Him…

Upon emerging, Joseph found he stood glimmering with favor and strength-made-whole, both tested and healed.

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Upper Room(s)

Be careful what you read; you might see it. ◆ Let me show you what I have seen…

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Upper Rooms by Kelly Grace Collins. Water color pencil and artist pen. March, 2015. All rights reserved.

I awakened one morning to the joining of Psalm 104:13 and John 14:2:


“He waters the mountains from His palace…”
Psalm 104:13a

&

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places…”
John 14:2a

 I was startled by a realization… These are the same place.

Or at least, they will be. Or even more wondrous.
We will live with our powerful Creator King.
All of the richly poetic Old Testament descriptions of where He dwells?
This will be our home.

Eight streams of water to represent His salvation,
twelve little people to represent all His believing ones.

Take heart, dear ones. The wonders of dancing with Him that await us are beyond all imaginings and surpass all that we endure here. These upper rooms abound, each where the knowing of Him is heavy like sweet mist. His light, presence, and delight covers the whole palace city.

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Upper Rooms, detail.

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Upper Rooms, detail.

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Upper Rooms, detail.

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Upper Rooms, detail.

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Upper Rooms, detail. 🙂

Tears of the King

The throne of the Ancient of Days
is his weeping place

Once, falling and cascading, his tears flooded heaven and filled the earth,
the waters never to fully subside

His face — old lines deep with wisdom;
his being — gentle heart carved with sorrow

Outpoured love and brimming provision rejected turns to salty flow in pain
as the little precious ones choose harm, emptiness, and solitude.

What has been lost was part of him, born out of him

Weighty majesty and crushing grief interlace to form his covering
“We cannot see You! Where have you gone?”

He yet reigns, and weeps

and hopes

–even while some who are his stand back from his embrace,
hands clutching fear, shadows of self, cries of affirmation from the world–

for one to glance up to his face in willing trust;
to look into the eyes of his son

for one to find herself happy in his protecting arms;
to wash the dirt from his daughter’s body

for one to rest close to his heart in peaceful abandon;
to give his children all of Himself and all of home.

backdrop

against the backdrop
of such a God
with such a history
    with creation and humanity since the Genesis

what can we say when You shine through?
when we said You would not, could not
when gloom of cloud and shroud of murk are forced to show themselves prisms
    proven, cultivated, placed bearers of Your light

You see all, yet hide us, when You outline our forms
wounds, scars, secret thoughts of sin–vulnerable, visible
yet wrapped in You, for only You see this way
    Gentle Maker, we are safe in Your eyes

praise to the One (!)

who makes darkness turn to light unexpectedly
who forces our sin-shrunken perspectives wider and wider open every day
who sees our entire beings
    and looks with love.

 

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The sunset, as visible from McHenry, IL on Nov. 29. After a completely grey day in every sense of the word. Photos taken by Chris and me, all rights reserved.

 

The Artist sees Himself reflected

◆ Light falls and traces the edges… ◆ The Artist sees Himself reflected in all He has made ◆ The wind, the waters, the notes of harmonies cast back the image of His Spirit to His eyes, their movements like His own ◆ See Yourself most in us, Creator Jesus ◆ let the rays of Your Goodness strengthen in golden beams what is You, and harden, bleach as bone, what is not ◆ Promise to dwell, speak, and breathe inside; lift, pull, daily carry us into You–{rest} ◆ just the faintest watercolor touch, sudden release of color, is like You… Come ◆ pine is of Your encompassing Strength, mint is of Your ever-flowing Life, cinnamon is of Your welcoming Warmth ◆ a small presence before Yours, but never ignored–to offer a soul to Your Light Heart ◆ to need; to wake; is the beginning of Life in You… then, ever caught in the Unseen ◆ scintillate through all Your people, glinting from chosen faces and voices as time moves ◆ oh return with resounding clouds and un-deaf-ening thunder, swallow up Yours with dense and dancing Glory ◆ Amen

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tree approaching

 

soaring sky

 

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scene of fallen log

Pie Jesu Inverted

I had been seeing red for a few days… brilliant red, in the bottom right-ish corner of things. Create, create… the Spirit was pressing.

A tree’s trunk began to form in its place, a bold, vivid red, unashamed.

As the rest of the image began to form (rich, royal blue leaves, many-splintered orange and yellow suns…), frustration was a frequent and fickle guest. Uncertain of the picture’s purpose, its bright colors appeared childish. Only the tree was red.

But the Spirit would have it finished.

My love began to speak some of His words: “I am the true vine…” They filled the air and hung there, immanent, as He

Then, instrumental Pie Jesu broke through. Rich and soul-pulling to the moment of His deepest pain and deepest love, its melancholy chords ripe with the ever-interwined lament and beauty of His death… Just as He began to flow the red into the rest of the image, accenting the entire scene with it. He gently guided my fingers, His red bringing warmth to all the other colors, filling them… Everything made sense. And it was inside-out.

He gave His blood for us… To redeem and cleanse and make alive and make peaceful–oh how gently does redemption flow. Without His life within, there is no warmth, no kindness, no protection… His blood given for us provides all these things, drawing us into the Father’s household. Because He wanted to. Because He is love.

Pie Jesu Domine, Dona eis requiem. Pious Lord Jesu, Give them rest.

Pie Jesu Domine, Dona eis requiem sempiternam.   Pious Lord Jesu, Give them everlasting rest.

Taken with my iPhone just before it was joyously given to the one who was supposed to have it, after an Unexpected Appointment

Taken with my iPhone just before the picture was joyously given to the one who was supposed to have it, after an Unexpected Appointment