As a Christian, my heart's desire is to glorify God, to reflect His light. I can not generate that light on my own, but I can surrender to Him, look at Him, and be captivated by His beauty.
I've spent most of my life living in the fear of being abandoned, being a failure, or not measuring up. I was constantly striving to be the best I could be in every part of my life, to gain the approval of others and my God, focused on myself and what I could or couldn't do. For years, I lived in the darkness of abuse -- accepting and surrendering to the lies that I wasn't worth being loved or respected, or that I would be treated differently. Finally, a few years ago, I suffered several losses in my life, leaving me completely broken and unable to do anything but cry out to God and look to Him. In Him I found grace, unmerited favor, His overflowing delight waiting to meet me in Christ.
I read that in the past, Middle Eastern shepherds would break the front two legs of a little lamb that wandered off a lot, and then hold it for months in their arms till it healed. In that time the lamb would learn that all its needs were met there. Protection form predators was provided, food and water was supplied, it felt the warmth of the shepherd's body, and the rhythym of his heartbeat would lull the lamb to sleep. When it healed, that lamb would stay the closest to the shepherd, because it knew who He was, and that all that was good and all it needed was there. I am that little lamb. I am so aware of my weakness, and so glad that I can look to Him to be dependable to be my strength. That He is the LIght and in Him is no darkness at all.
I believe I was compelled to paint many of the pictures on this site by the grace of God. I found myself drawn to the light in them and I believe that most of them were medicine for me while enduring an immense amount of pain. For almost three years, I was unable to paint at all, as my soul was so broken and empty. But in that dark night of my soul, when I felt the judgement of some and the mercy of others, when the nightmares and flashbacks seemed to chase me relentlessly, when I saw the death of most of my dreams, and the death of my dear father, the Lover of My Soul pursued me with His passion. He chased me down when I wasn't looking for Him, made His presence known to me in the darkness when I thought I was all alone. He accepted me when I was broken and weak. He freed me from the pressure to perform for others and seek their approval for my worth. He breathed hope and strength back into my heart, and inspired me to paint again -- not for the praise of people, but for the joy of being creative, as he designed me to be.
I know now, as scripture says, that "All our righteousness is like filthy rags to God." The very best I have to offer on my very best of days in the form of artwork, or kindness, or strength of character, or intellect, doesn't come close to His perfection. I am helpless, hopeless, without Him. But because of His perfect sacrifice of Christ, the One who would pay the penalty due for my sin, my self-focused, independent pride, I am freed from the need to prove I am worthy, because He has made me worthy. It is His work, not mine. And He is the One who deserves all the credit...the Master Creator of all that is truly beautiful.
I am still on this journey. In the past I thought my ability to paint defined me, until I couldn't paint. The Bible says in the book of Ephesians that we were created for the praise of His glory. And in the book of Revelation, that God created all things for His pleasure. My greatest joy, my highest purpose is in reflecting or glorifying who He is. I hope you will see some of His light in these paintings, and my prayer for you is that He will reveal to you the wonder of His love, the power of His grace, and the purpose for which he created each of you... to know Him.
In God's Love,