BY LISA PUCKETT
No matter how many times I see the sun set or rise, if I take a moment to breathe it in, the sky always captivates me. More than the washes of color, I am moved by the reminder of a metaphor I heard back in college. The speaker said, “If you and God were sitting together on a cliff facing the most beautiful sunset God had ever painted, He would rather gaze at you.” I am still trying to understand that love — that deep perfect love that I look for in different ways every day.
The more I embrace God’s love as Truth, the more I feel free — but it’s a struggle when every day the world tells you the opposite: that you are not good enough. That you are unlovable.
When I first started AO Creative, I was intimidated. It was three months before the end of 2013 and I was still fairly new to the church and without close community. Of course, I wanted to see the arts flourish in the church, but that wouldn’t be fuel enough to keep the ministry alive. The more I continued to pray and fall in love with Open Door, the more I wanted to see connected community and love flourish. It wasn’t until later, when I was praying for the vision of AO that the realization dawned on me: AO would be an expression of the freedom we have because we are loved.
2014 Compassion Sunday, VBS each summer, the launch of AO Movement (a dance ministry)… I cherish these moments that brought us together, softened our hearts, and helped set something free in us. I have since stepped down from serving at Open Door due to work, graduate school, and other time-consuming obligations, but there are times when I crave to see more freedom released through the arts. The most recent project, the Art Initiative, was a collaboration with 9T5 Ministry that commissioned artists to express the Father’s Heart. I am so grateful for Open Door, 9T5 Ministry, and for the artists and friends who helped put this installation together. My sincere prayer is that when you view the paintings or admire a creative work, you would see a moment of God’s love poured out and a son or daughter of the Father one step closer to freedom.
Lisa Puckett is a graduate student at Georgetown University. She is the former ministry leader and founder of AO Creative at ODPC.
Image Source / Jiin Shin; Original logo design by Sek Kim