It's official! On the first day of Art Prize, a group of us woke up in the morning and loaded up the sprinter van full of decorations and aesthetics from the prayer garage. Our intentions were to spice up the Life International courtyard into a creativity-inspiring, and welcoming prayer space that emphasizes the artful expression of prayer.
When we arrived, however, we were so pleased to find that the courtyard was already such a pleasant space surrounded in natural beauty that we decided to use that calm, natural atmosphere to our advantage and work with it instead of covering it up with unnecessary decorations.
Fortunately, we had the expertise of Charis Cooper with us who surprisingly got the day off work and could come help us! -- Coincidence?....perhaps... ;) --
As we observed our already incredibly beautiful space -- many thanks to Life International -- Charis wisely said, "I think our goal should be to minimize, and utilize and the necessities."
It was so great to watch her quietly take in the space and begin to brainstorm what would work best and where.
Gradually we all worked together, bouncing ideas off each other, and through a process of much trial and error, we finished the space a couple hours later. As we all stepped back, analyzing our work, and adding finishing touches, we all smiled. The hours of prayer, planning, and decorating had paid off! The prayer space was ready! It was beautiful.
There is a small trickling fountain against one wall, supplying a sweet natural ambiance in the background. There is a tent with draping fabric sweeping across the ceiling, covering a small table and chair. That little table and chair is covered with paper, pastels, crayons, pens, and pencils; ready to be used at the will of our passing, Art-Prize explorers and prayer-seekers desiring to express their prayers in other ways than verbally. -- And of course the whole space is available for verbal prayers! :) There is so much more that that little prayer studio holds, but you are SO welcome to visit to find out! :D
Now here comes the BEST PART! After all those hours of brainstorming and hard work, as we all climbed into Tony's car and buckled ourselves in, we watched the door to the courtyard prayer space. A woman walking down the sidewalk with her small child in her stroller stopped at the entrance as she saw the chalk hands on the cement and the "city-wide prayer studio" sign. We all excitedly watched as she stood at the entrance reading the sign. -- Blessing enough to have observed someone notice it! Then, we all watched as she backed up her stroller and walked right into the studio!! What an incredible blessing to have gotten to see the first person use God's little downtown prayer studio! We couldn't believe we got to witness that just as we were leaving. We all drove away with smiles on our faces.
Such a great day working together to dedicate that little courtyard to creative expression of prayer to our Father! We pray that as people wander around downtown, awed by the beauty of people's handiwork, they stop in that little courtyard and take some time to be awed by God's handiwork! :)
-- Michelle, Vision Course Intern --