Gold Leaf Menorah

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7.

Again, Lord?  Another menorah?

YHWH is a persistent teacher.  He is tireless and enduring.  He wants us to get it, no matter how long it takes.  I shook my head a little and muttered under my breath that I already knew about menorahs and we could go onto another topic, but He was resolute.

So I settled down once again and studied Exodus 25.  The golden lampstand was to be made of pure gold.  I stopped, meditated, and studied about the purification process.

The art project using liquid gold leaf did not go at all as I imagined.  The first night, I sketched it out with graphite, then carefully and with the smallest paintbrush I could buy, applied the liquid gold leaf.  You have to put the lid on the little jar and shake it from time to time, or it separates into a watery red substance with the gold settling on top.  Timing is everything. When I was almost finished with the last branch, I bumped my arm against the jar and toppled it over.  The paint splashed and poured onto my masterpiece.  I was exhausted, in pain, and sweating.  I went to bed with no sense of accomplishment.

The next night I moved the jar to a new locale — far away from my paper.  The work had to be slow, meticulous and steady.  I had to remember to shake up the gold leaf paint or I would draw red which would show up on my menorah.  But my solution was no solution at all.  About halfway through the process, I dribbled splotches onto my watercolor paper.

This was really starting to tick me off!  More garbage can fodder.

Third time is a charm.  Well, no, not exactly.  In my God’s kingdom, there is no luck.  Trickle, trickle again!  I could not believe it.  I tried to salvage it with white out, but it really shows, at least to me.

So why write about this grim experience?  It was purifying me.  I had become a “product-oriented” artist and believer, rather than a “process-oriented” artist and believer. Each morning I was studying the Word, trying to tackle it with a goal of “getting through the bible in a year” mode, rather than it getting through me.  I heard my Father say, “Just slow down.”  My mentor said, “chew, little lamb.”  Each evening I was just trying to get the art assignment done so I could go on to greener pastures.  I rushed it not relishing the time in the process.  When I worked with such carefulness, I had intense hot flashes like I had never experienced before.  It felt like a stoked and smelting furnace with a brush in my unsteady hand.

Okay, I will slow down … sheesh. 

I think my Father delights in me.  I think he even chuckled, knowing that my next assignment would be another menorah.