God’s Word in Chalk: Missions Through the Arts
By Ashley Huizenga
There were no erasers or boards, but there was chalk. And chalk was the word God gave me. Before leaving the US.
I thought it was going to turn into a creative fund-raising event idea-but things never quite panned out. I didn’t know if I should give up on the idea or just allow God to evolve my understanding of His word “chalk”.
As ministry in Australia neared, chalk came up again, and I saw it everywhere the first week we were there. But what to do with this chalk?
As I prayed, God put a verse about grass and flowers dying into my head for the hippie fickle town of Byron Bay. It was Isaiah 40. It went like this:
These people are nothing but grass, their love fragile as wildflowers.
The grass withers, the wildflowers fade, if God so much as puffs on them. Aren’t these people just so much grass? True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade, but our God’s Word stands firm and forever.
Look! Your God! Look at him! God, the Master, comes in power, ready to go into action.
He is going to pay back his enemies and reward those who have loved him.
Like a shepherd, he will care for his flock, gathering the lambs in his arms, Hugging them as he carries them, leading the nursing ewes to good pasture.
Who has scooped up the ocean in his two hands, or measured the sky between his thumb and little finger, Who has put all the earth’s dirt in one of his baskets, weighed each mountain and hill? Who could ever have told God what to do or taught him his business?
What expert would he have gone to for advice, what school would he attend to learn justice?
What god do you suppose might have taught him what he knows, showed him how things work? Why, the nations are but a drop in a bucket, a mere smudge on a window.
Watch him sweep up the islands like so much dust off the floor!
There aren’t enough trees in Lebanon nor enough animals in those vast forests to furnish adequate fuel and offerings for his worship. All the nations add up to simply nothing before him - less than nothing is more like it. A minus. So who even comes close to being like God? To whom or what can you compare him? Some no-god idol? Ridiculous! It’s made in a workshop, cast in bronze,
Given a thin veneer of gold, and draped with silver filigree. Or, perhaps someone will select a fine wood - olive wood, say – that won’t rot, Then hire a woodcarver to make a no-god, giving special care to its base so it won’t tip over!
Have you not been paying attention? Have you not been listening? Haven’t you heard these stories all your life? Don’t you understand the foundation of all things? God sits high above the round ball of earth. The people look like mere ants. He stretches out the skies like a canvas- yes, like a tent canvas to live under. He ignores what all the princes say and do. The rulers of the earth count for nothing.
Princes and rulers don’t amount to much. Like seeds barely rooted, just sprouted, They shrivel when God blows on them. Like flecks of chaff, they’re gone with the wind.
“So-who is like me? Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy.
Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this? Who marches this army of stars out each night, counts them off, calls each by name – so magnificent! so powerful! - and never overlooks a single one?
Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, ”God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything?
Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
So I wrote this on the ground in chalk. From one end of town to another.
Between two bars at either bookmark where the patrons would go to and fro between for most of the night.
Along their path, they met these words.
People read it.
They were involved in it.
They wanted to see where it went, how long it stretched. It lasted about a mile and a half.
The truth of the words last immeasurab
Some were into it, others criticized it.
But that’s not up to me to decide what people do with it. My call was chalk – to write those words.
God’s word does the rest.
Ashley is a 23 year-old native Floridian with a passion for art. She is currently on The World Race, an 11-month mission trip around the world.