Mixed Media, 34x48"
Mixed Media 34x48"
Most days I struggle to find the words to express how I feel which is why I paint. This is an intimate space for me to communicate with our Creator and how I feel like He speaks to me in a way I can understand clearly. "Revival" was created for the sweetest friends of mine, Adam and Michelle, who have resiliently showed me what it means to live for Christ. What it looks like to truly follow him with abandonment and the freedom in surrender. Their biblical wisdom and hearts to share God and teach others about Him has changed my life forever. This painting is the smallest way for me to fully express how to even say thank you. Their humble leadership has been such an encouragement to me and I know hundreds of others. So, thank you.
Two years ago, I stood in Adam and Michelle's living room on a late Sunday night with a few other strangers. This was my first time ever meeting Adam and he knew nothing about me or my story. I was in a season of a lot of hurt, confusion, feeling alone, and just lost. Before he asked if he could pray for me he gave me a metaphor in my language - art. I had never had someone tell me, "I feel like God wants you to know this." He continued, "Have you ever seen one of those live painters where they are creating a painting and there's intense music and it seems super confusing / a little chaotic and you have no idea what is happening or what the artist is making? Then at the very end the artist takes the canvas and flips it upside down and there's this beautiful master piece. From a spectators view, you don't know what the artist is doing but the artist has a plan the whole time. And just when he is finally done with the art work he turns and reveals the purpose of it all. That is what God is doing in your life right now." I'll never forget that night and how God used Adam to speak into my heart in a way that truly made me feel seen and in a way I could fully grasp and understand.
That is exactly what God, the creator of all creation, has been doing in my life these past two years. After that night I decided to lay it all down. To fully jump in with no hesitation into what God was about to walk me through. I can't say it was fun, there was lot's of pruning but so much more grace and love that fully captivated me. I joined Adam and Michelle's bible study that met 3x's a week. After that semester I took Adam and Michelle's bible study that met 4x's a week. After that semester, I served at Adam and Michelle's bible study that met 3x's a week. Currently, I am taking a bible study that Adam and Michelle's lead that meets 3-4x's a week. This painting is a glimpse of what these past two years have taught me.
"Revival" means an improvement in the condition or strength of something. It is the restoration of God's presence to His people. There are heavy marks of symbolism throughout this piece but what I love the most about abstract art is that each person has a different interpretation based on their experiences and walk in life. My favorite moment of this painting was in the days spent trying to figure out why it felt incomplete. I struggled to figure out what it needed or why it felt "off" so I reached out to my previous art professors. Their only advice was that it was perfect the way it was, it just needed to be flipped upside down. God speaks to us in the most beautiful ways and yet again my words are fighting me to express the simple joy this radiated in my heart remembering what Adam had told me two years prior.
I pray God uses this painting to speak to you for the season you are in right now. And if you find yourself at Michelle and Adams looking at this painting, pick up a pencil and add the bible verse that speaks to you on the canvas.
Here are some guided thoughts if you are new to the art world of interpretation:
The scribbles of purple and green line on the bottom left: The Vine and the Branches John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." Stay connected to the source of life, allow pruning to take place and bear fruit. Go out into this world and share that.
The crimson red puddle with "white as snow" scribbles on top: Our daily fight against sin. A reminder that Christ died for our sins and the red line running through the middle is what separates us from Him. Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us settle the matter,”says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."
The blue dots represent our tears we pour out. Pslams 56:8, "You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?" What a beautiful picture of a loving Father. God is not enjoying watching us struggle, He’s not testing or trying you for no reason, He’s not delaying the answer for His own amusement, He actually feels every pain, and He collects bottles of tears. He values them! The tears of God's persecuted people are bottled up, and sealed among God's treasures. When I was working on this canvas, remember it was upside down so the yellow and gold line represented the valued jars and bowls that these tears are held so lovingly in from our Father. So when I flipped the canvas I was frustrated that this no longer made sense until it did... Revelations 5: 8 says, "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people." Not only does God collect bottles of tears, but He also collects all the prayers of the saints in golden bowls, bowls of prayers, that are ever before Him. Those prayers are precious… they are in golden bowls, and they are constantly before the Father. He not only collects our tears, but He collects our prayers and values them. At the end of time, these collected tears will be poured out and there will be justice.
The large circle around the canvas represent unity and staying in community.
The 7 gray lines are the 7 letters to the churches. A reminder of the warnings Jesus gives and how we are to live. To be watchful.
The brown and green pours are to reflect Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." There will be hardships and increased labor pains of this world, but don't give up. Keep digging because soon, there will be a harvest. Don't give up. Revelations 12:11, "They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."
The gold that washes over the "land" is the revival that is coming. Come quickly.
Large red line to the right, is the rope of sin we hold onto. It is not connected to anything and is to be pushed away. Allow that to be cut off and allow the yellow of the Lords revival to take over and to be bigger and stronger.
There is more to say, more to elaborate on, and more hidden verses scribbled throughout this painting but I hope you find those words and meaning in how it can speak and encourage you.