My new book will be released September 24, 2019, by Beaming Books. Picturing God is a milestone for me: the first book for which I’ve made the art as well as the text!
Of course there’s no way to create a faithful and complete visual representation of God. We have the stern “no graven image” commandment to protect us from that illusion. But the Bible is full of symbols and metaphors to help us picture and experience God in the depths of ourselves, via our imagination connected to our senses.
In my late twenties, a time of great pain and struggle, I began learning to access these biblical symbols in contemplative prayer and open myself to the healing they can bring—and I’m still learning. God as my Rock. God as an eagle sheltering her chicks under her wings. Jesus as my Shepherd. The Spirit as God’s cleansing breath, filling my lungs. Scriptures and prayers based on these symbols have drawn me into intimacy with God, into awe and wonder at the Love that holds me.
We human beings live by symbols. Strong, beautiful symbols stir us and change us.
Picturing God uses mosaic and collage—tiles, fabric, handmade paper, glass, metal pieces, twine, embroidery floss, paint, and other media—to inspire children and parents to contemplate God’s tenderness and power. Living Water, Bread of Life, Light of the World, Good Shepherd, Father and Mother: these and other biblically rooted metaphors are explored through art and poetic text. The book’s final page is a list of scriptures for each metaphor, so that families can look up and perhaps even memorize some of the related verses.
Making this book has been the most joyful work of my life! Every time I gathered materials and started laying them out on a canvas or square of plywood, I was drawn into a meditative awareness of God’s presence. I hope paging through the book will serve readers in a similar way. This winter I’m making final tweaks to the interior art—and eagerly looking forward to sharing the book far and wide in September!
6 thoughts on “Cover Reveal: Picturing God!”
Thank you for including me in this notification. As you know, I am a fan of yours. To be a part of “the most joyful work of (your) life” is an honor. I will be looking forward to publication date.
Marty, what a lovely comment! Thanks for your friendship & kind support.
This looks wonderful Ruth…congratulations! Being both author and illustrator is something I could never do. Well done!
Thanks so much, Glenys! I’ve wanted since childhood to write & illustrate a picture book, so I regularly pinch myself as I work on the art!
Greetings. I love this book and would like to share it with my congregation for Transfiguration Sunday. The pandemic makes this more complicated as we now have pre-recorded services on YouTube. Is it possible to get permission to read this book in our service? Thanks!
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Hello Pastor Martens! I am so glad. You are welcome to read it to your congregation! Beaming Books had given a blanket permission for such readings early in the pandemic, & as far as I know it’s still in force. I’d be very grateful if you shared a link for purchasing Picturing God with your congregation that Sunday. And if outsiders can peek at your YouTube services, I’d love to get that link! Many blessings to you.