More than 20 years ago, I saw a beautiful stained glass window depicting the outstretched arm of my Lord on the cross. When I approached to take a closer look, I was overwhelmed to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror glass that the artist used for the nail piercing his wrist. It was powerful. Back then I understood that my sin put him on that cross. I’ve grown to understand that it was his love for me that kept him there. His love for each of us. I wanted to try to share that experience, and because the little church we attend in Hamilton, Montana encourages art as one of many expressions of worship, I have been slowly learning about pastels. In the post Anticipating Spring, I described my crazy hunt for a mirror material. Now you know what pastels and mirror have in common.
If you are like me, trying something new requires risk for there is a huge gap between starting the learning process and any sort of proficiency where communicating through the art is possible. I’ve met people so secure in love and unbound by fear that they have no worries of failure. I aspire to be one someday. In the meantime “punch fear in the face” is a motto I say to myself when I have to get to the other side of a chasm and fear is the first obstacle to overcome. We can overcome fear with a reflection of his love.
For months this piece was forming in my mind, and as I planned out the project, I felt a nervous excitement welling up inside. Would my novice attempt be able to illustrate at all what love looked like? Sunday morning came and everything culminated during the worship service as stroke by stroke I once again saw you and I, beloved of his creation, reflected in the suffering of his incomprehensible act of love. He laid down his life with hope that you and I would accept his gift. I am so glad that filled with the Father’s love, he overcame fear, sin, sickness, death, and the grave. Aren’t you? Thank you, Jesus, and Happy Valentine’s Day, from one who loves you back, with all her ideas, doodles, and drawings.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)