In the first Bridges over the Yahara River watercolor class, we were looking at Psalm 1. I showed the group the use of colored pencils for marking words and observing the structure of the passage. So there we were under the overhang at Tenney Park, waiting for the rain to subside, huddled in blankets and LOOKING at Psalm 1.
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
In out group of 7, at least three started to take the colored pencils and draw a tree (v. 3). Yet that was not a distraction, but seemed to help in processing the words. When we shared our observations after about 20 minutes, there were some profound insights into context, shape and content of the psalm. Perhaps because we were in an artistic mode, and because we had planted ourselves by a stream of water (the Yahara River), the text came alive to us.