Over a month or so ago I remembered my pastor preaching about God’s love saying that it is everlasting from life, to death, through the afterlife. This statement was my inspiration for the creation of “Everlasting Love.”
I created this piece using chalk pastel on paper. The heart, representing God’s love, is there with us through all of phases of our existence. The gray color block represents life. I chose gray because I think about how we live and that the decisions we make aren’t always in black in white. The second one, black, represents death. We tend to think of death as an absolute because it is the end of life. I, on the other hand, look at death as not the end but the middle or a transition. Finally there is white, which represents the afterlife or eternity.
Last year I completed a work in charcoal called “The Perimeter” a couple of weeks before I returned to the work force. This piece was inspired by a church sermon that talked about the trials of being a servant, and that our labor is not in vain because God is with us. After the benediction our pastor asked the congregation to pause for a moment and quietly reflect on the role of being a servant. He described servants as beacons of light to those who are walking in darkness.
I created this work from the servant’s point of view, where he or she is looking out into the horizon. There on the edge or perimeter are people, who are drawn to the light, and are in need of help and encouragement. They are too numerous to count. Above them is the vast sky filled with twinkling stars, a clear sign that there are other “beacons of light” out there who are there to serve.
“I’m drawing my peeps,” I would say affectionately as I penciled in the people that spanned across the paper. I couldn’t stop smiling as I was creating them and that’s when I realized that’s how God sees people. He cares so much about us, and even when we’re living on the edge or far away from Him, He cares, and He wants us to come back to him. That’s why He sends His servants out into the world, to show and spread God’s love.
Yep! Today is my birthday and I thank God for another day! I turn 46 which is hard to believe because I kid you not, yesterday I was 28. This morning I woke up with the usual aches and pains with an Achilles that was a-killing me, and some little muscle ache in my arm that mysteriously arose from playing volleyball. It’s all good because it tells me I’m alive, and that I’m old.
This day also marks my jumping off point to get my behind in gear as I’ve not done a single final work this year. So I entered this self-portrait in an upcoming group show at Twenty-Two, on Saturday, May 9.
I haven’t done a self-portrait since I was in college and it wasn’t even really a self-portrait. So here it is! If someone buys it, well that would just make for an awesome birthday present for me.
A couple of weeks ago our church held a women’s conference and the theme was “Claim Your Inheritance.” Last year, I worked with the planning committee on designing the conference logo inspired by Numbers 27:1 -11. Here it is as summarized from my Nelson Study Bible:
“Five sisters – the daughters of Zelophehad – approached Moses and Eleazar to make a claim for their inheritance in the land. Their father had died in the wilderness, as had his entire generation. Since he had no sons, there was no inheritance for him. On the basis of their father’s memory, the daughters asked Moses for ‘a possession among our father’s brothers.’ In doing this they cut across the social mores of the day. In ancient Israeli times women did not inherit land. Yet because their case made sense, Moses took the issue to the Lord.
“God’s decision was that the daughters of Zelophehad had presented a just cause. They would inherit land in the name of their father. The case would become a precedent for other families in which there were no sons, only daughters.”
A month or two prior to the conference, I saw the logo on flyers and signage and it really looked good. But what took the cake for me was seeing it on bags and t-shirts at the conference! Everywhere I went I saw ladies sporting their t-shirts and carrying pretty blue canvas tote bags with my artwork imprinted on it, leaving an indelible mark. It was a great feeling.
The conference was excellent. While I could only attend the Friday evening service and Saturday, my spirit was filled nonetheless. I was glad to be a part of it.
So here it is, my latest piece called, “Still,” a 15″ x 17″ chalk pastel work on drawing paper. I learned a lot about this one, particularly when it comes layering, skin tones, and lighting. I did a lot of selfies where I sat under an overhead lamp, wearing earrings and even flashing some bare shoulders to determine how the light would hit. You do what you have to do to get the job done.
Overall this piece signifies the beginning of my new faith journey after being laid off in October. I feel that I accomplished what I needed to do here by illustrating that sense of calm when one surrenders and becomes still. This is the state of mind where God wants me to be so that I can hear His voice clearly and can proceed on the path that is directed by Him.
The economy continues to be a source of frustration for me as it pertains to my job search. Since my layoff in October I’ve been sending out resumes only for them to disappear into an virtual abyss. I am baffled at my inability to even snag temporary work as a fallback.
This whole experience makes me feel as if I’m fresh out of college. It’s a blow to the ego to submit a plethora of resumes only to receive little to no response, regardless of my job experience. I do realize that in this economy there’s a high ratio of applicants to the number of available jobs, and gone are the days of making personal contact or sending resumes by snail mail. Everything, and I mean everything, is electronic.
Then there is that mounting tension I feel while watching my bank account shrink even further and waiting impatiently for unemployment payments to show up.
Earlier last week, when I was at the height of my frustration, I received a text from a friend who sent me a scripture starting at Luke 12:22. It was certainly a word in due season:
22 That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.
23 For life is more than food, and your body is more than clothing.
24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant nor harvest nor store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than any birds!
25 Can all of your worries add a single moment to your life?
26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?
27 Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin, and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
This calmed my Spirit and I do realize in many ways as I look back that God has been keeping me all this time and will continue to do so. It’s tough to wait for things to come to fruition, however what’s more important is what you do while you wait. For me it’s to continue to be prayerful and positive and continue to trust God, always.