Now, over three years later the subject keeps popping up like popcorn. I sense, “It’s time.” People confirm it saying I should start with the vision given in 2010. I praise, pray, sing, and begin to paint. Feeling led to start on two canvases, I begin with the vision painting and the brazen altar. It seems quite fitting to start on the brazen altar painting during the season of Lent, but most of my time is focused on the vision painting, spending an entire work day and a half. Before and during the painting process, I sense the strong loving presence of God with me. I struggle to paint, but keep on, joy in the presence, believing it will turn out in the end…. but it doesn’t. In fact, the painting is so bad, even the next day I couldn’t see any way to improve it except to try and rub out the day and a half of work with rubbing alcohol and try to cover up what I had painted. In case you’re thinking it must not have been that bad, even my super-supportive husband said it was “Different”, a term that is sometimes used when something is not even up to “Interesting” status.
I begin to doubt. “Did I not hear God? Am I being presumptuous? Am I not skilled or talented enough?” The reality hits me hard: If God doesn’t show up to paint with me, I’ve got nothin’. There is no way I can paint anything like this on my own. I ask God, “What do You want to say to me about this?” Silence.
Then, in the night, asleep, I find myself asking those same questions. The answer is plunked down into my heart as a conversation unfolds.
God asks me, “Did I meet you in the studio?”
“Did you experience my loving Presence?”
“Yes. It was very sweet.”
“Is the sacrifice of the canvas, paint, and especially time worth it?”
“Is it enough to be with Me, painting without the results of good artwork?”
(pause & pondering)….”Yes.”
“Will you let go of expectations and outcomes and just show up with your painting supplies to be with Me?”
I am filled with gratitude that God speaks to me, to each one of us, in a unique language each of us can understand and use. Mine just happens to often be paint, pen, and pencil.
For the next two hours, I paint the brazen altar painting, gripped and deeply moved by the sacrifice Jesus made on my behalf, and what He freed me from. Here are some views of the finished painting:
It’s a hard picture for me to look at. Tomorrow celebrates Resurrection Day, and I am looking forward to painting Light and Life in our worship service. Tomorrow… a new beginning… a new day…