Wednesday, September 29, 2010

big bites...

So this blog will be shorter, I promise.  The previous one was a well overdue explanation of the painting that I finished 2 weeks ago.  This is not near as complex, as I have since completed 2 more smaller ones.  They represent one of the names of the Lord, the Alpha and the Omega.  Alpha being simple, beginnings, and creation. Omega being the end or really eternal, complex and more than we can understand.  I am still trying to figure out if there is any more meaning than that.  Can't exactly find a scripture to fit them.

But started like all my other pictures, a glimpse of a vision, 2 in this case, a floating apple and a water drop on blood red water.  Both pictures are smaller than I normally paint, but such big challenging concepts to paint.  A I started both,  I realized I bit off way more than I can chew. I have no idea or experience painting water, and am told it's the hardest thing to paint.  Great.  Okay, time for more grace!  And grace received. The water drop (Omega), the more complex looking was so much easier than I though, and the apple floating (Alpha) in completely empty still water was incredibly hard and the empty water took me days to perfect.  I have to say they photograph better than they look  :).  Open to interpretation.

Painting and the Potter's House

So some may have seen on facebook that I have resumed my painting, after I posted the Potter’s House. For those that have never been to my house, this painting has been unfinished on my mantle for the last 5 years, and felt it was time to start it up again. I have a hard time committing to a big painting, because painting is a lonely business. The amazing thing is it such a wonderful private ministry to Lord and to my heart. It’s the constant exchange between us, the Lord and I, as I try to paint something that I know I am not good enough to paint and He encourages me to do it, and helps me through it, meanwhile bringing to mind people to pray for, and things to pray about. This unfinished painting the Potter’s House was a vision I had while going through a breaking period/transition period 5 years ago. I have since been busy with graduate school, and it sat unfinished, vision yet to be fully revealed. Until 3 weeks ago the picture had no rope tying back the curtain, the curtain not well defined, the fire muted, the stone floor unfinished and everything lacked detail and sharp edges. This wouldn't seem like a big deal except it 2ftx3ft so it appeared very undone.   But in reality this was the state I had to be in to finish it.  But let me tell you what it means first.

The story of the painting is this, the setting is the Potter's House,  the subject of the painting is green pot, the squares are windows into the future. The trinity is evident as purple curtain being Jesus love in the foreground  and His redeeming blood in the background. The Holy Spirit, the yellow breeze blowing in and through the entire room, there is not one thing that isn't impacted by It's presence. The Lord  is in the form of a fire place, a place of warmth and comfort from afar but with a jealous smoldering lava like fire within, that many fear approaching. The Potter's House is the place where the Lord creates His treasures/children or recreates them. This pot (me) has been molded before but is now cracked, needing mending because it is unable to fully fulfill its function. It knows that in the potter’s house there is a kiln (fireplace) with which it will bake as hot as possible without breaking it. The floor it sits upon is the stone it will be dashed upon to be crushed back into the dust that it needs to be to be moldable.  The stone represents truth, often our cracks and blemishes are because of the lies that have hurt and marred us, and the truth of God upholds us and refines us and eventually repairs the lies in our hearts. The windows of the future represent the following: the immediate future is the lowest window, water or the healing; the crushed pot will be mixed with the water to make it into clay before being fired in the kiln. The middle window is the creation that it will become, a totally new creation, new purpose, new life and new fruit, in other words redemption. The next window up, is the final step, the goal result all anticipate but the final step, eternal life.
The Holy Spirit, the swift breeze moving through, gives the guidance and strength and encouragement for every step. However, the pot fears the pain, the molding, and the fire, so it is hiding behind the curtain, hiding back behind curtain, cowering if you, will behind Jesus love. The thing the pot forgets is that it is grace that allows any of this to happen, grace is where the healing, the salvation, and the recreation starts. We often forget that we don’t deserve His healing, His breaking, His fire, His redemption or His eternal salvation. The golden rope holding back the curtain is His grace. His grace is His wisdom, His tender patient love while we wallow in self pity and pain, His knowledge, and the continual recognition of our need of Him. If the rope weren’t there it wouldn’t see the good (the 3 windows) that is to come, wouldn’t be moved by the Holy Spirit, and wouldn’t get to experience the painful healing fire of the Lord or His Power.
The amazing thing about completing this painting is the hardest part was the rope. How do you paint make a gold rope that looks like holding back a thick curtain this is actually gold and has tassels... This was how I had initially saw it and was putting off painting it, I had no clue how to do it, and had didn't know the rope was grace until I finished it. I’ll be honest and say I am not very skilled at painting. I have a skilled Lord. I repainted this thing 3 times, nearly gave up, tried other ideas, to no avail. Finally I told the Lord I couldn’t do it, He said, “I know,” I reiterated that I really wasn’t good enough to make it look like it should, He said, “that’s okay, let me show you My grace.” So colors got mixed, I began praying and painting, and in a different way than I have ever before. My mind wandered as paint went on, I started thinking about the rope itself, what it was doing, how if affected the picture.  In the midst of feeling like I had totally screwed up the whole painting, I realized that was it, the Grace that the Lord was showing me, was the very rope itself.  So I kept going, then I stopped, realized  it was....done??? I stepped back amazed, it was grace. I myself had experienced the same grace, in a simple painting. I didn’t want to do, I wanted to avoid it. I didn’t deserve His help, but He did help, and it ministered to Him and He ministered to me.  It made me realize the whole time I had been focused on the broken pot as the subject of the painting, but He had a different story to tell, the real the subject is His grace.  And I can take no credit for it. The potter’s house sounds like a happy place to dwell, the fire looks warm, and the curtain so comforting, and it can be comfortable to live with our broken vessels.  But up close we are not really experiencing His grace and love until we is acknowledge our weakness and that we don't deserve anything that we find His healing hands and His fire, the real work and power that He can accomplish in us.
2 Cor 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, 
to show the surpassing power belongs to God, and not ourselves.