1 John 3:1 “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God.” (NRSVA)
Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us…”
But what if our experience of being a child is damaged? What if there are attachment challenges? What if we don’t have that deep well of being known, loved and safe to draw on?
What if our experience of being a child is having to grow up quickly? What if our sense of safety is distorted through health challenges?
Brene Brown describes “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection… Silence, secrecy, and judgment fuel shame.” (Brown B, 2021, Atlas of the Heart, Ebury Publishing, Kindle edition location 2311)
In his book The Bible Disability and the Church, Biblical scholar Amos Yong, writes
“Each person with disability, no matter how serious, severe, or even profound, contributes something essential to and for the body, through the presence and activity of the Spirit; people with disabilities are therefore ministers empowered by the Spirit of God, each in his or her own specific way, rather than merely recipients of the ministries of non-disabled people… people with disabilities become the paradigm for embodying the power of God and manifesting the divine glory.” (Yong A, (2011) The Bible, Disability, and the Church: A New Vision of the People of God p95)
For me, as I ponder God looking at me, I wonder how much that is distorted by the lenses through which I see myself. Have I absorbed ableism deep within me? Do I see myself as fundamentally broken, as not good enough, as unworthy?
Through psychotherapy, through Pesso Boyden body work, I have been working on these deep seated feelings. Over many years, I have come to realise that for me, taking it into art is a way that also allows those feelings to embed deeply. Pesso has given me the deep sensation of what it is to feel safe in my own body, to truly belong to myself.
So this is my first attempt at depicting what it is to be a child of God, to be seen & known, wrapped in a blanket. Am I willing to let myself be seen as a vulnerable child again, to allow God’s love to sink deeply within me, to accept that I am a beloved child of God.