30" x 40"
Oil on Canvas
“How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” –Jesus
(Matthew 23:37, NLT)
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by “the big picture”… the grand narrative. Dreaming of climbing a mountain is exhilarating, but it can produce adrenaline rushes and sleepless nights. Climbing a mountain, on the other hand, is simple work. The focus is reduced to a 3-foot radius of activity; a repetition of simple actions, utterly practical, linked together until the task is accomplished. I found myself in the classroom of the chicken coop this spring—lost in grandeur of the big picture (The fox is coming! Soar the heights immediately or perish!)—all the while protected on the ground by the One who knows, who teaches, who loves.
Parenting and painting are like this too. To stay on course, we regularly must bear in mind our lofty end result—something beautiful and mature! And yet, the work itself comes down to brush strokes and bedtime stories; keeping a clean palette and waiting at the bottom of a playground slide.
I love kids because they make us become parents… and then they make us become kids.
We need the heights. Our dreams shape our trajectory, but we lest not forsake the mysterious work of steadfastness. It will carry us to our destination. So, scratch in the dirt. Listen to the voice of the Master. Breathe. Apply the paint. Place the foot. Give a time-out. Wipe a tear. Feel His presence. Let Him gather you up.
My friends in “The Swamp” studio have been a gift to me this session. Their courage and camaraderie were an inspiration. Thank you for taking the risk with oils!
Cecil, Rebekah, Elena, Justine, and Moriah… you are all a gift.