BLOGLatest news and behind the scenes
A great ring of pure & endless light
Dazzles the darkness in my heart
And breaks apart the dusky clouds of night.
The end of all is hinted in the start.
When we are born we bear the seeds of blight;
Around us life & death are torn apart,
Yet a great ring of pure and endless light
Dazzles the darkness in my heart.
It lights the world to my delight.
Infinity is present in each part.
A loving smile contains all art.
The motes of starlight spark & dart.
A grain of sand holds power & might.
Infinity is present in each part,
And a great ring of pure and endless light
Dazzles the darkness in my heart.”
Lately I’ve been grieving so many things: violence, all sorts of injustice, poverty, systematic injustice and my part in it, sexual harassment and violence … And I’ve been wondering, “Is the Church really helping us in any of this?” Sometimes the divisions in the Church seem like a greater stumbling block then all the other things toward helping people see God. So this painting began as a dark one. I was processing my grief and anger at the Church. But in the midst of it, the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me leave it there. It was as if the painting was teaching me, “God isn’t surprised or taken off guard by this. He can handle it.” And then I began to see the images I was painting in a new way. Suddenly, the landscape and even the image of an abandoned, old, deteriorating church were filled with a “great cloud of witnesses.” And I knew that God still sends his Holy Spirit, even to the divided, often broken Church. Because if the Church misses it or gets it wrong, “the rocks will cry out.”
This piece is a reflection on John 8 where Jesus says, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” The experience of being outside of a community of believers has left me feeling lonely and isolated. One day as I was walking, this verse came into my head. And then I saw an old dilapidated, decaying birdhouse sitting in front of a lush green wooded area. The experience of making this piece gave a deeper connection with the loneliness and sense of separation Jesus must have experienced. And it brought me comfort in my own loneliness.
As we prepared to step out of the community of faith that we’ve been a part of for years, I thought and prayed a lot about how to express my love for them. The words of a Jim Croce song came to mind over and over as I thought about it, “Every time I tried to tell you,
The words just came out wrong, So I’ll have to say I love you in a song.” And I thought about how often our words weren’t what we meant them to be, especially after a lot of conversations that involved conflict and disagreements. But I could show this group of people a moment in worship that represented what I loved most about them. I could show them the blessing and grace I pray for them in an image. And so in on one of my last Sunday’s, I took a photo during prayer and this piece, “Love,” grew from that photo. I fought for this image, printing it over and over and eventually taking a poor print and drawing in the missing parts and then painting back into it. It was as much a work of prayer and release for me as it was a physical labor.
Full Guatemalan Paintings show during the months of January – May 2015.
June 22 – August 2, 2009 | MILTON’S ART SHOW
920 Massachusetts St
Lawrence, KS 66044-2868
Sunday through Saturday: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Monday, June 22nd – Sunday, August 2nd, 2008
No reception, possibly a coffee gathering mid July.