Just to be clear, I’m not an artist. So I was surprised when I felt strangely drawn to a colouring Bible in a local craft store. At first I dismissed the idea. I hadn’t done any drawing or colouring since grade school. Why start now?
But I couldn’t get the Bible off my mind. A few days later, I returned to the store and brought it home with me. Hundreds of Scripture verses lined the wide margins, ready to be filled with bright colours. On other pages, the margins were left blank, awaiting my own drawings and notes.
My fingers caressed the fresh, crisp pages. I nervously laid a selection of pencil crayons across my dining room table. As I meditated on a page of Scripture and prayed for inspiration and the courage to begin, God reminded me that I have a creative soul. We are all created in God’s image, and God is a creator.
I began to think of the world God created. The variety of plants, flowers and animals in the world speak of God’s creative nature. The diversity of ethnicities and cultures also reveal the creativity of God. And if we are all created in the image of God, then we all have the capacity for creativity.
With this fresh insight, and already a closer connection to the heart of God because of it, I began to illustrate the Scripture before me.
My finished product might not be considered beautiful, and it was definitely not fine art. But what I realized is that Bible colouring or journaling isn’t about being the best artist. I was guilty of wanting to create something impressive by the world’s standards. What I discovered is that it’s not about the outcome, it’s about the process.
When I sit down with my Bible journal, I begin with prayer. As I draw or colour, I meditate on the Scripture I am illustrating and allow God to speak to me through it. I often find that by the end of colouring a verse, I have committed it to memory. If I am drawing, God reveals truths of a passage that I’ve never noticed before. God reveals himself through Scripture, and Bible journaling has allowed me to experience this in a new way. It has transformed the way I spend time in the Word.
Bible journaling is now a cherished part of my personal devotional life. I also find myself illustrating a passage of Scripture that I will be teaching in Bible study or preaching from in a worship meeting. Although it still takes me outside of my comfort zone—I’m not an artist—each time I put pencil to paper I know that I will experience the Creator God in a creative way.
Do you want to try Bible journaling?
Collect supplies. All you need to begin is a Bible and a pencil. Any Bible will do, but you might find one with wide margins helpful. If you want to add colour, then crayons, pencil crayons or chalk pastels are all good options. Test a small sample of your page to make sure your art tools won’t bleed through.
Find a quiet place. Read a passage of Scripture and pray. God will give you inspiration to draw on.
Put pencil to paper. Sketch the outline of what you would like to draw in pencil, and then fill with colour if desired.
Give thanks. Pray again, giving thanks to God for creating you in his image—with a creative soul.
Lieutenant Laura Van Schaick is the corps officer at The Salvation Army, A Community Church, in Prince Albert, Sask.