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89/444 Healing from Infidelity: Asher Lev and Loss of Play

Asher Lev is a young Jewish boy in post WWII Brooklyn. He has a gift for drawing but it is strongly communicated to him that he is wasting time, playing, drawing, wasting time. At a young age he quits drawing.  

I did no drawing at all during those early years of school, save for the indifferent smears of finger paint for art projects the class undertook to help celebrate festivals. The gift lay buried.

I remember that sometime during my first year in school my mother asked me why I had stopped drawing.

I shrugged a shoulder.

"Is that an answer, Asher?"

"I don't feel like it any more, Mama."

"Why don't you feel like it any more, Asher?"

"I don't know."

"You really are very good at drawing."

"I hate it," I said. "It's a waste. It's from the sitra achra. Like Stalin."

She paled a little and said nothing more.

My father never mentioned it at all. To him, it had been another of the slowly disappearing ills of my childhood, like measles, mumps, and chronic tonsillitis. 

Play and beauty are often seen as frivolous, a waste. Well meaning parents crush the God given gift of many children like Asher Lev's did for a time. Eventually, the gift stirred into life when it burned too long in Asher's bones. He paid dearly in his community to live out his gift. They made up a poem to mock him.

Asher Lev wont go to Heav; To Hell he'll go far down below. 

Eventually Asher returns to drawing and painting. He learns from a master, Jacob Kahn who tells him,

"An artist needs time to do nothing but sit around and think and let ideas come to him."

How about you? Are there gifts or interests that you put down or were shamed over long ago until you put them away? What are they? It will take courage to bring them back out, but bring them back out you must. 

We are products of a creative God, created to create.

So bring out your latent gifts. But know that art, and our souls cannot be hurried. Your soul needs to find the rhythm of your art to live out the fullness of God and his love in you.

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