Working with clay, paint, crayons, or pencils, artists have long known that the act of creating art can help people explore the deepest recesses of their hearts – and bring about real change in their lives. Michael Sullivan discovered the power of art for himself in the midst of grieving the loss of a young parishioner. Ever since, he has been using simple art projects as a form of prayer and a way of helping others explore what God may be saying to them.
Windows into the Soul is a practical, hands-on resource for those who want to explore this means of prayer and contemplation for themselves, approaching the process not as an artist but as a spiritual seeker. Readers will find projects in various media, including clay, charcoal, and acrylic, including not only technical directions, but a gentle guide to the spiritual gold to be mined from the experience.
"In a time of the slamming of doors in religion, it is refreshing to read of the opening of windows. The mystics understood that God is the artist-the poet-of the World. Since we are made in the image of God the artist, each of us is an artist of sorts, each of us is a work of art! The disciplines of our art-silence, attention, compassion, fierce truth-telling and love-help us celebrate the awesome joy and privilege of being human. This eye and heart opening book will help us be whom we are called to be and will show us the way home."
—Alan Jones, dean of Grace Cathedral
"A new approach to prayer that guides us gently through our creativity to new insights and responses to traditional prayer themes. Open your eyes, unfold your hands, but be warned: you may fall in love with God again!"
—Nancy Chinn, artist, author of Spaces for Spirit: Adorning the Church and Wisdom Searches
"Unless you are prepared for your life to change, you probably should not read this book. But if you are willing to set out on a journey with an experienced and faithful guide, let this book become your companion. Michael Sullivan points the way with just the right mixture of insight, holiness, sensuality, and grace."
—The Right Reverend J. Neil Alexander, Bishop of Atlanta
"For those who are willing to try their hand at art, and those who feel comfortable with art as a form of personal expression, this would be a valuable tool--individually, in small groups or for retreats."
—Epiphany, May / June 2006