The Big Yellow Metaphor

{This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on  my experiences on a wild and wonderful journey. A big colorful artful adventure, one  from New York to South Carolina as part of a team on The Art Bus Project roadtrip.}

Audrey. And others. They were my teachers.

I just went to summer school. And my classroom was a big yellow school bus.

The bus, my classroom screams loudly the lessons over the din of heavy black tires on I-95. Yells out over hot highway with her yellow zippered lines marking the lessons. Shouts Truth over the swoosh of passing eighteen wheelers in the fast lane and the screech of breaks on near missed turns. Through tolls and toils she lays out the lesson plan to her student held captive within the yellow walls.

My team members on The Art Bus Project, part of the teaching staff. I a student, a sponge soaking in the lessons. Some hard. All good. Life teaches well along the way. In the messy living.

The old, big, gas-guzzling, loud and sometimes hot classroom is a good teacher too.

When God calls us into ministry He is good to change us. And challenge us.And He is wise to teach those he taps . To instruct those whom he woos to come along for the ride. Moving us from Point A to Point B, never leaving us where we were found by Him. Transforming lives with Grace. Mercy moving us along. Increments of Truth and more of Him, measurements of movement.

And He is a gentle teacher. Loving His children and wisely never leaving His rag tag band, His co-laborers, His students of Grace unchanged. He lovingly shapes. He gingerly molds. We show up in a place carrying the now of what we know on our backs like a Patagonian hiker ready for a trek. He adds whats important, filling the pack with more of Him.  The weight of the important strengthens the sojourner’s back. Shoulders stronger, legs less wobbly, back braced for carrying the significant.

We show up ill-prepared. He refines the red clay of the soul on the spinning potter’s wheel.

And He uses His people in a beautiful way. There is no circumstance on the journey that He has not known. There are no combinations of facts or missing pieces which leave Him caught off guard or suprised.

So when I say yes and I show up He tilts the lense and sharpens the perspective. Divine fingers wipe the fog, remove the smudge on the window to the world. And over the shoulder on the looking back, He speaks. In the ear of the rewinding mind, He teachess.

And He takes one little, two little , three little travellers and more and binds them together over the bumps, through the wrong turns, past the monuments, through the dark tunnels, past the missed stops, and onward  on the road of learning.

The one about Him. And the one about us. And the one about the others along the way. The ones with the hurt and the pain. The ones with no one to listen and no one to care.

The weary woman on the way home, eyes blurred from hours in the office. The mom with a whispering heart, bruised by circumstances. The tender recovering soul who in her young life as a mother to two is now a widow and hurting. But aren’t we all.  And who doesn’t.

The eager child with the can of spray paint, eager to find a place to write and express. His name,his identity on the black asphalt, on the sides of the yellow walls. He teaches to listen and look for signs. They have a voice. They want to speak. They want to shout.

They all have a story to tell.

And we would do well to listen.

And we would be more like Him if we did.

{Counting gifts today with Ann over at A Holy Experience dot com. And linking up here at the Extraordinary Ordinary and here with Michelle and also with these two ladies here and here}

* the gift, possibly a first and a last, but hoping not, a mission trip with my daughter

*watching her serve, use her gifts and leave childish ways behind….way behind

*watching my daughter grow more and more into the woman God has purposed her to be

*meeting a freight container full of new friends this week, well I am prone to hyperbole

*seeing new places, exploring new corners, falling in love with the art of discovery all over again.

*regaining my sense of adventure and inquiry

* Asking and accepting the privilege to pray for two women, God grant me faithfulness to pray faithfully and diligently for their circumstances

*Eight new puppies in my world

*Watching my son care for the furry babies and seeing how nurturing He truly is

*getting  a text from my son at camp that he is homesick.  An unexplainable gift.

*counting down the days until we trek up to our beloved mountain home, where memory lives, and story waits to tell us more of the past, the present, and lend hope to the future

* new inspiration from new twitter folks, a welcome surprise. Reading tweet after tweet of words pointing toward the Father


Art Bus Project- Brooklyn Phlogg, Chapter One

Chapter One (sort of) – A Brooklyn Phlogg

Don’t cry becuase it’s over, smile because it happened”– Dr. Seuss


If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.– Dr. Seuss


The Little Art Bus That Could {Joy Comes To The Subway}

This is a story.

And like any good story you should use your imagination.

All good stories, really good stories, have the same elements.

They have suspense, hope, love, forgiveness, the element of surprise, scarey parts, funny parts, laughter, tears, love, and the good guy always wins.

In this story you will find all these elements of story and more, woven together to form a beautiful story, a tale, a parable, a love story, and the good guy wins in the end because He has already won.

The battle is won. And He is victorious.

But every day we have the privilege of living our individual stories, our own beautiful stories of life and love and giving and partaking and seeing the world and walking out life with others.  Always with others.  Never alone. Always in community. Always as a team.

And what story doesn’t have big bold beautiful pictures that tell along with the words.

Aren’t they often the best part. A word will grab you and show and tell you. I am a lover of words and believer in the power of words. But they work as a team in tandem with the photographs capturing joy and hope and work and play at the perfect time. With precision in love.

We alway want those action verbs, oh use those action verbs those teachers of writers tell the writers.

So this is the part where the good student shows with words and pictures.  The pictures are story in technicolor.

The words will come tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, because the writer is weary and the words, well they need to marinate and process a bit longer in the story. Linger there.  Wait there, for their story to be unveiled and be revealed.

But because you came and because you asked, I will give you some clues to the story, just as the clues were taped to the subway wall, and you can write a story all your very own in your heart and mind.

One about this story, and you will probably be very very close to the Truth.

Here are some clues, and some action verbs to spark your very vivid, creative imaginations.

Daring Dilemna

Patiently Waiting

Curious Onlookers

Joyful Strangers

Hurry Up and Wait

Offering Forgiveness

Accepting Forgiveness

Through the Roof

Begging Forgivenss

Crazy Laughter

Bone Tired

Heart of Gratitude

Off To The Ball Park

Homebody Buddies

Crazy Love Wrapped In Fur

Creator God Speaks To His People Through His People

Community Bonded In Service

Hospitality Speaks A Common Language

Framing A Story

Framing A Picture

Framing a Life’s Dream

Healing With Joy

Reaching Across with Words

Reaching Out With Voices of Hope

Not the End…..

Rolling With It Through Brooklyn–Day One

Will you pop over here and see the beginning of this exciting ministry (artbusproject.org)

Oh God is so good.

What a privilege.

Amazing grace.

Savoring the fresh memories of discovering Brooklyn, her beauty, her people and especially thanking her for lending us her lovely white subway tile walls for ministry.

Words across, words down.

Clues calling out to the weary and the lonely.

A crossword puzzle taped to a wall crosses cultures and languages and invites.

Come solve me. Come gather around the word. The words bridge between the north and the south.

The words carry love.

The clues intrigue and offer a word of Hope, of community, of Love and of Grace.

Eyes of the lonely stare empty curious. Eyes of the skeptic glance at the grace.

Eyes of the mind and heart pause then enter in the game, the fellowship, the team work, before the train comes.

And after the train comes.

A subway,our Creative God, and two screaming yellow buses.

And the story continues, as we roll out of Brooklyn.

Amazed by Grace.

Three in one and one in three–Fourteen Down. And the answer was and always is, the Trinity.

We have felt the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit deep in the bowels of Brooklyn.

wynnegraceappears