Like many others, I have been moved this week by the news of the bombing in Boston where two people died and 175 were injured. I was also moved by the news that on the same day bombings in Baghdad killed 31 people and left 200 injured.
Yesterday I decided to ‘doodle’ a prayer as my response to this news.
Here is what I did…
The Christian tradition often uses candles as a symbolic representation of a prayer. The imagery is linked to Jesus as the light of the world shining in the darkness, bringing hope into difficult situations. Other traditions use prayer flags and I don’t know what they mean specifically in those traditions but I like the idea of a flag waving in the breeze as a symbol of God’s spirit blowing into the lives of those who are troubled or need comfort.
So I decided to doodle both candles and flags to represent ‘all the Lord’s people’, as the verse from Ephesians says.
Today I woke up to discover there had been an explosion near Waco at a fertiliser factory, and again bombings, and deaths occur daily amongst our brothers and sisters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and many other places around the globe.
The colourful nature of this doodle reflects the diversity of humanity. As I drew and decorated my flags and candles, my prayer was, and continues to be, for comfort and consolation for those caught up in these situations and for a global community of peace and love amongst all the Lord’s people. Can you say Amen?
I tend to create backgrounds in my journal when I have time but with no particular idea what I will use them for. Sometimes I use an old teabag dipped in water which works well, but for this one, I soaked the pages with water then dropped blobs of paint around in a random way. On the right hand page I just did random streaks of paint.
I then drew a basic outline of my doodle in pencil. I don’t recommend doing too much rubbing out though as it takes away the background. Even if you’re not completely happy with what you’ve done, just go with it – it’s a doodle and doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.
I then added some more flags to fill the gap at the top, the bible verse I wanted to use, and lightly drew in patterns on the flags. I coloured the flags with felt pens (nothing fancy just basic children’s ones – art doesn’t have to be expensive!). For a contrast I coloured the candles with pencil crayons, picking up the colours of the background and just using random colours on some (be careful not to mix these as you end up with a mucky brown!)
I then outlined everything with a thin fibre tip pen and added some doodle patterns to the candles. I was going to leave it at that but it didn’t look right to me so I picked out some areas of the candles with felt pens but tried to preserve the rainbow nature of the colours below. I also added some little dots around the flames and some pen lines around the flames and flags to give a sense of life and movement.
And here’s the finished piece … a visual prayer.
Hope you feel inspired to have a go yourself – feel free to copy what I did or just do you’re own thing. God hears your prayer either way!