Honestly if you were to ask me what my least favorite holiday would be, it would be Christmas. Yes, this is a pretty bizarre declaration considering I have long accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Trust me, I am glad He was born and really it’s not the season that I dislike, but the nonsensical Bozo-fication that tends to come along with it.
I kid you not, I literally cringe upon the first sighting of a Christmas tree because I sense the level of overwhelm that is to come. First, let’s kick-start the holiday with the perceived absence of Thanksgiving altogether and then launch right into Black Friday where long lines and sparring matches take place over a limited number of sale items on display at retail stores. Then there are the flurry of Christmas activities that seem to take place all at the same time forcing you to split yourself up like an atom. Oh, and can someone please pass the Pepto Bismol so I can stomach these nauseating jewelry commercials that come on at least every ten minutes? I stream my TV shows online and I still can’t escape that stuff!!
In spite of all of this, I fight really hard to keep it all in perspective. I do like to participate in charitable activities because that is what Christmas is all about – sharing and giving and doing acts of kindness for someone else. It represents Jesus to the fullest. I am also grateful for the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family.
Recently I’ve turned to my art as therapy to help me get through the Christmas season. I chose a candy cane inspired by a widely circulated email that told the story of the candy cane’s origin. So the story goes that the candy cane was created by a Christian candy maker from Indiana who wanted to use the candy to witness about Jesus Christ. He used a lot of symbolism such as the hook shape of the candy cane representing The Good Shepherd, or if turned upside down, the “J” for Jesus. Because the candy cane appeared plain to the candy maker, he added the three small red stripes to represent the scourging of Jesus whereby we are healed. Then he added one large stripe for the blood shed by Christ on the Cross, thus giving us eternal life.
I checked the validity of this story through Snopes.com and Snopes stated that this story is not true. I still liked the idea behind all of this and felt no less inspired to create my own candy cane.
So here it is. It’s a fairly simple drawing. The mediums that I used were the Ink-tense water soluble pencils and my beloved Faber-Castell brush pen for the black outlines. I added the text alternating between the white and red to read, “By His stripes we are healed.”
One other thought that came to me as I was creating this was that like the candy cane, Jesus IS sweet. I would invite you to try Him. Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Personally I don’t think you will be disappointed.