I’m grateful to come from a family of artists and craftsmen. While most people think of art as confined to drawing, painting and sculpture, there is no doubt that the river of creation has an endless number of tributaries, and my family members have explored a lot of them. Despite the fact that we have a wide range of personalities and bents, everyone has found their own artistic and creative outlets. In my house I have a watercolor done by my mother. I have a pastel done by my brother Terry. I have a work of calligraphy and a custom bass guitar made by my brother Tim. There is photography by our daughter Madison along with paintings and drawings by our daughter Taylor.
The newest piece to the expanding family collection arrived a few weeks ago. The story of this piece begins in childhood. In the church we attended while growing up there was a small prayer room and in the prayer room there was a kneeling bench. I don’t want to give you the wrong impression because I certainly didn’t frequent the place. I did, however, use the room once or twice and it must have made an impression on me because I’ve never forgotten it. For many years now, I’ve quietly desired to have a prayer bench of my own. As I spend time in conversation with God each morning and praying the hours throughout my day, I’ve thought that I would like to have a prayer bench at which to kneel.
Earlier this summer the desire rose up once again and I began looking on-line for what one of these would cost. As I looked through some of the pictures and advertisements it struck me that my craftsman father could make one that would be every bit as nice as the ones I was looking at on-line and probably nicer. I shot off an e-mail asking if he’d like to do a little project for me. He quickly replied that he would love to do so. In no time I had learned that he, unsatisfied with finding any pre-made plans, had begun to design his own from scratch and he soon had me kneeling on phone books and taking measurements.
A few weeks ago he presented me with the kneeling bench complete with a reading shelf for my Bible and copy of the Divine Hours. Unbeknownst to me, Dad even had Wendy doing a little reconnaissance to find out about some verses that I considered to be “life verses.” Over a dinner date, in response to her curiosity, I’d shared with Wendy how central Psalm 112 had become to my life over the past decade. When Dad presented me with my prayer bench, I was shocked to find that he had Psalm 112:1 engraved on its reading shelf.
The kneeling bench now sits right next to my desk and I’m enjoying having one more work of family art that I both admire and get to functionally use each day. I’m sure the family arts collection will continue to grow. I hope to someday enjoy work of arts and crafts by my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and my nephews and nieces as they explore their own tributaries of Creation’s river.