Though Tish Warren has a beautiful chapter on losing and finding keys in her book Liturgy of the Ordinary, I found myself thinking of keys in a different manner this week as I drew them. As pilgrims, much like Christian in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, we each have been given a key (or keys) to carry with us on our journey. The keys themselves are not The Thing. They merely unlock something which then allows entry to The Thing.

*a key unlocks a treasure chest.

*a key opens a private diary.

*a key allows entry through a door or gate into a castle, a home, a garden.

*a key ignites the engine to drive a vehicle, a lawn mower, a tractor.

In short, without these keys, we are unable to enter fully into the life and beauty we were made for. 

My key ring for this pilgrimage (not only of Lent, but of Life as a whole) consists of a pen or two, a paint brush, knitting needles and a crochet hook. Like the keys on my actual key chain, they unlock hidden treasures and allow entrance to a world unseen by my busy, hectic life. Slowing down enough to draw an ordinary thing along my pilgrim path, ignites my imagination to see beyond and through the difficulties, the mundane, and the glittery and shiny distractions. Without these keys, I’m not sure where I would be.

What keys do you hold as you walk your pilgrimage through Lent and Life? 

Do you hold them close, using them daily to unlock the beauty God has for you?

I am so very grateful for the creative keys God has given me as I walk with Him and with others. We need each other, encouraging one another to take out our keys, our sketchbooks and pens, our knitting needles and hooks, and draw the treasures around us, knitting their beauty and meaning into our hearts.

If you see me along the Camino today, I’ll be the one with a set of keys jangling on her hip. Tap me on the shoulder and we will sit down together to draw, opening the gate to a roadside garden for rest and refreshment.

Buen Camino friend! Here’s a beautiful quote to carry with you on the Camino from the very end of Chapter 4, Liturgy of the Ordinary, by Tish Harrison Warren –

“God searches more earnestly for me than I do for my keys. He is zealous to find His people and to make them whole.” pg. 60.

And then from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

” ‘What a fool,’ quoth he (Christian), ‘am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty? I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting-Castle.’ Using the key, Christian and Hopeful escaped.”


9 thoughts on “Keys

  1. Thank you Jennifer for this true and thought-provoking post, which has caused a wage of gratitude to rise up in my heart today.

    My keys: pen and brush. The pen was my main Key all through my life. In 2014, In 2014, God added a brush. They have opened doors and gates to some of my most wonderful experiences, deep/meaningful/stimulating friendships and lessons that I cherish and carry with me every day. I add experiences, friendships, and life-altering lessons with each new door and gate my KEYS open for me.

    God bless you and your family this glorious Lord’s Day.


  2. I was in a beautiful retreat place in the countryside only a few days ago, and looking around me at all the beauty and joy of spring that place held, I sort of heard God say in me, “This is what I have made you for”. And I’ve been wondering ever since about how I can better receive that then… And here is your post…pointing me to the keys I hold. Thank you…!


    • Thank you so much for sharing this with me! I love hearing that voice…it is so dear and precious! May this new week find you using your keys to unlock the beauty and grace God has for you in ordinary places! -Jennifer

      Liked by 1 person

  3. elaine says:

    How beautiful ~ it’s always the simple things that unlock the beauty around us and within. Thank you for reminding me of the keys I hold that are very near and dear, that too much stress has hidden. My spinning wheel & kntting, my pencils, brushes and paint.


  4. Beautiful insight as always, Jennifer! I found March very busy and looking at April, it seems to be full of tasks, commitments and celebrations, too. a reminder to find the time to pick up the key to unlock the creative spirit inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, as always Jane, for visiting my little blog and sending such kind comments. April looks to be a very full one for me as well. One day at a time, one sketch at a time, one moment at a time, eh? May grace and beauty pour from your pen as you sketch! -Jennifer


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