When Judith asked me last week if I would blog about practicing a Lenten discipline for the coming week, I said sure .. no problem. Little did I know what discipline it would be –holy doodling! Drawing is not something I do very much and when I do so it is for a purpose . In University I took a drafting course and worked as an electrical draftsperson for some of my University work-terms. My drawings tend not to be flights of fancy but are firmly rooted in trying to communicate a concept either for myself or others. Holy doodling! Is this something I’m even capable of? Well, it's worth a shot...
First attempt – stare at paper and ponder the theme and put pen to paper. I start off with a scribble, then immediately turn it into a 3d cube which then develops a roof –I have a building!! I am not impressed.
When I practice silent mediation, I try to let go of my thoughts. But to draw -- that implies that I do have a thought! I try a different tack: I will draw as my hand wills it, without thought. The results are about what you might expect –abstract in nature, and if I used a richer palette rather than a pen, perhaps some aesthetic potential.
All in all, this a very different discipline than I’m used to. I’m not sure that this would be fruitful direction to pursue but then I’ve hardly started...
I found last Sunday’s message, theme and service quite meaningful. Substitute "trust" for "belief" and a lot of doors are opened for me. The Enlightenment brought many good things, but some not so good, and this is one example. Apart from the possible meaning of the Greek terms, another interesting point to ponder is that English words themselves have shifted meaning. If you check the origin of the word "believe," you will find that in the Middle Ages and before, it did not imply giving intellectual consent to an idea or principle, but rather a relational trusting. Here is a quote from www.etymonline.com for the noun belief:
“late 12c., bileave, replacing Old English geleafa "belief, faith," from West Germanic *ga-laubon "to hold dear, esteem, trust" (source also of Old Saxon gilobo, Middle Dutch gelove, Old High German giloubo, German Glaube), from *galaub- "dear, esteemed," from intensive prefix *ga- + *leubh- "to care, desire, like, love" (see love (v.)). The prefix was altered on analogy of the verb believe. The distinction of the final consonant from that of believe developed 15c.
Belief used to mean "trust in God," while faith meant "loyalty to a person based on promise or duty" (a sense preserved in keep one's faith, in good (or bad) faith and in common usage of faithful, faithless, which contain no notion of divinity). But faith, as cognate of Latin fides, took on the religious sense beginning in 14c. translations, and belief had by 16c. become limited to "mental acceptance of something as true," from the religious use in the sense of "things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine" (a sense attested from early 13c.).”