The Blog

He Stills The Waters – A Spiritual Rumination

36×36, 2024, Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

I am lucky enough to have just come back from a Spiritual retreat in Savannah, GA, a hauntingly beautiful piece of southern history adorned with mossy trees, vibrant color and inspiring SCAD kids who are and will always be cooler than me.

It was a wonderful week of laughing and crying, cheering and learning more about ourselves and our spiritual paths and gifts. One of the assessments we took was one I’d been waiting on for a while; to discover our Spiritual Gifts. These are different than the ‘clairs’ but if you’re curious I’ll tell you about mine in another post. These are the kind of gifts that come directly from ‘The Spirit’ meaning the Holy Spirit, or an aspect of the Holy Trinity. You can read the specific verse here: (just fascinating stuff, right?)

As a new student of the Bible, a shy Kindergartener, I haven’t read much of the New Testament yet; I am making my way through the Prophets at the moment and though my curiosity gets the best of me, I’m trying hard not to read ahead. If you’ve been smitten by the Jesus portrayed by Jonathan Roumie like me, you can’t help but peep “The Chosen” and ‘read ahead’. Spoiler Alert! Kidding.

I digress. I’ve always had a strong connection to water and upon returning from the retreat armed with my Spiritual Gifts, I felt a deeper understanding of and connection to my life long curiosity of spirituality, the bible, God, Jesus, the Universe, I learned that my primary gifts are “Administration”, “Faith”, “Wisdom/Knowledge”, “Pastor/Teacher/Leader”. All of this made total sense to me and while I think intuitively I knew that my gifts of organization and spreadsheeting were strong, I hadn’t connected that ‘gift’ to a gift of the Spirit. Faith makes sense for me; I’m shockingly, unstoppingly optimistic, finding the silver lining in everything, and I’ll believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself. I have faith. Cue George Michael.

All of this to say – I came back from that experience with a renewed desire to understand where these gifts show up in our lives because they are an aspect of God’s character gifted through the Spirit to help us help each other. That’s incredible. That’s good stuff.

The first Spiritual law is ‘order’ and we see this in nearly every book of the Bible; maybe all of them. (I’ll find out and report back.) I am drawn to the use of water in the Bible; again, it’s in SO much of it. When I started working on this piece, I instantly felt a pull to water. In fact I used a LOT of water in this painting to thin and drip the paint. If you’ve been with me for a while, you probably know that I intuitively use color and symbolism to tell a story about one of my paintings. In this one, I felt very strongly that the use of water was intentional and powerful. If the first Spiritual law is ‘order’, then lock me up, because I’m guilty of not being ‘in order’. My administrative gift is in use, but not for my highest best. I have some $7*t to get together. Don’t we all? One, is the practice of creating something each day. I know, I know. Surprising right? But as much as I try to organize everything, I’m not doing it for the highest and best of all involved. I’m not actively using my gift as intended – yet. But God does. And I’m learning not to lean on others but instead to lean on God.

When I’m in a peaceful place, my waters are stilled. I find quiet and peace, comfort and order. There’s a very memorable passage from the New Testament about how Jesus stilled the waters during the storm. Don’t worry, I didn’t read ahead (I saw it on The Chosen, LOL) but this is the story that kept stirring up for me while painting. That’s what I kept hearing as I painted and sprayed and prayed. “He Stills The Waters”. He calms the storm. Read more here. In another verse, Psalms 23, “He leads me beside quiet waters.” Here we find refreshment, rest and calm. He Stills The Waters.

I felt a sense of peace when I finished this piece; it kept shifting and changing while I worked. I kept flipping it from top to bottom to let the waters drip. To let the paint form it’s own conclusion on the canvas. I worked it but I didn’t control it. I adminstered order without dominance. When I get out of my own way, God works through me to create some wonderful things. I have Faith that He’ll do the same for you.

I hope you enjoy this piece and that it offers you a respite, a cool refreshing moment of calm.

Thanks for reading.


abstract original painting by heather eck

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  1. Sue Singer says:

    I just love the serenity of this work. It is truly amazing, like its’ creator. Best wishes as you embrace this new direction.