Last Friday evening I was invited by Alison and Richard Shorter from Harold Hill Essex to join their Church 123 ladies pamper evening. They are part of Urban Expressions and seek to be and do church in fresh and initiative ways for the sake of their community.
This was one of the more unusual ‘gigs’ I have done recently. It wasn’t in a dusty old church hall but rather the 30 or so ladies who had booked in to enjoy manicures, eyebrow waxing, massage, pedicures, foot spa and a chocolate fountain met in the local pub.
My job was to paint. Not finger nails, but rather pictures that would encourage and strengthen those whom I painted them for. The idea was to humbly bring something which I believed was from God’s heart. It wasn’t a case of seeking to predict anyone’s future, but rather remind people that they were known and loved by God.
Alongside me I had fellow Baptist minister Neil Roberts, an amazingly gifted guy who did ‘The Jesus Deck’ (looking at the story of Jesus and relating people’s own stories with his.) His explanation of the life of Jesus and his insights into the those he sat with blew me away!
He had a full list of ladies booked in between 7-11pm, wanting to do something that looked a bit like ‘Taro.’
When I turned up I had no one signed up… until I got painting for one lady, and then for 4 hours non-stop I carried on painting and sharing some simple words of encouragement.
What encouraged me was the ‘openness’ of everyone who sat down opposite me and patiently waited as I drew and painted some simple pictures. Many of the pictures contained scripture and this in turn brought conversations and explanation.
One lady asked, ‘are you physic?’ as I painted something that brought some insight into her gifts and care for those around her. It was so good to talk about a God who knows us and loves us.
Here are some of the pictures I painted in the evening… they’re rushed and a bit messy (each one took around 10mins) yet it was such an honor to bring good news creatively.