The latest craze to sweep the faithful followers of Christ is bible journaling, a practice wherein a person reads or meditates upon scripture whilst embellishing, stamping, coloring, and/or illustrating on a page.
There are currently no readily available Catholic versions of journaling bibles (insert joke about Catholics not reading their bibles); however, given that Catholics do not make sweeping judgements based upon cursory self study, a decent protestant translation will fit the bill.
I picked up a Crossway ESV single column journaling bible (check ebay and discount sites for bargains as low as $20), a few crafting supplies and was off to the magical land of #illustratedfaith! I unwrapped all of my markers and pencils and stamps and began marking up my pristine book. I felt somewhat conflicted as I began. Was I defacing the word of God?
A little research revealed that the practice of illustrating the Bible in the margins is not actually new at all, but ancient! As the bible was copied by hand prior to the printing press, people would add ornamental and illustrated embellishments to the page. Nothing like carrying on a holy tradition!
Once I overcame the awkwardness and foreign nature of the practice, I fell in love. I was relaxing by creating, and I was digesting the Word, in a new way. I better retained what I had read and was able to use it to speak to me much the way one can in Lectio Divina. Maybe this should be called Pic-tio Divina? Probably won’t be catching on….
This is a practice I will definitely be exploring further and continuing. The absolute best part is spending time with my kids while I bible journal and they color. It feels like a family activity, and we can talk about what I’m reading. *high five*
Pax Vobiscum, Nerds!