In early 2013, I took some time to paint on canvas. In the garage, I built a wooden support and stretched the canvas. My office was re-jiggered into a painting studio. I covered the floors with a tarp. Bought some lights to help illuminate the space and loading up a rolling cart with paints.

I took some photos to document the process, using some different photo filters. The black-and-white filter showed how little depth was happening. I was lost in the colors and patterns, but forgot about depth.

It shocked me to realize the painting was nearly two years old. After cleaning up all the painting supplies and de-cluttering my home office/studio, I started working on ink-based drawings. They're more easy to clean up.

I called the painting "Into the Silence" because the activity was much like meditating for me... a vibrant stillness.

"Into the Silence"  -  Acrylic on Canvas  -  32" x 48"   -  2013  -  Paul Douglas Goode

Recognizing that this was two years old has stirred up a desire in me to keep making new things.

AuthorPaul Goode

Tonight, I have been cleaning up the office and organizing art supplies. All blank paper and materials are on the shelf or tucked away. Completed artwork has been made safe in places. My mood has been reflective recently and cleaning up helps.

There were also papers and knick-knacks to sort:

  • Things that the kids made, which go into a "treasure box" for safe keeping;
  • Mail that needs to filed;
  • Trash trashed and almost trash piled up;
  • Old work materials to throw away; and
  • Lots of little crazy notes that I have jotted down. 

Of special note... I found a stash of papers from a work layoff that happened almost a year ago. It led me to daydream about how terrible that was.

This was the second time I was laid off within a year. It was gross, to be laid off again, but there was a lot of glory on it. Every day, God was teaching me how to abide in Christ and draw upon the love and joy that's prepared for us to walk in. But I was also learning to hear God more clearly.

To help myself hear what Holy Spirit was saying to me, I would keep a small notecards and Post-Its in my pocket. I recall asking God what He was saying to me and heard, "Just go home & draw." This freaked me out. It was exactly what was on my heart to do, but I could not give into it. I wrote this note, asking Holy Spirit to confirm the word. Stuck it in on a bigger notecard and filed it.

NOTE: On hearing God, the voice is mostly soft and quiet. Not the thunderclap kinda thing, which might be interesting, but apparently not a fun thing. The soft voice of Holy Spirit bubbled up and I jotted it down.

Within a week, it all went down. I was laid off and went home.

Note from late 2013 – Holy Spirit, Confirm that I am to "Just go home & draw."

Note from late 2013 – Holy Spirit, Confirm that I am to "Just go home & draw."

This was a painful time. Another hit in the gut (again... second layoff in a year). I knew God was with me (He is "Immanuel" - God inside us). Somehow I would trust Him again.

The previous layoff was a time of pain and sadness, but also renewed strength.

Instead of letting worried thoughts own me, I sank into a comfy chair and read scripture each morning. Drinking and eating upon every revelation of God's goodness in Jesus. I would also draw... and paint.

As another holiday season comes, I'm reminded to sit and listen to what Holy Spirit is saying to me and write it down. God is good and willing to draw us into something special... a relationship. In my heart, He must jot down things I've said and treasure them just the same.

AuthorPaul Goode