I was so excited to work with Hosanna Revival on this project to extend an invitation to their community to study the Bible through creativity. The intersection of my faith and visual creativity has been a very present theme on my heart, and I was so glad to take part in this project as myself and others worked week by week through a creative study of Psalm 16. The Psalm was broken down into 4 different prompts for 4 different weeks. I created a piece of art for each week and photographed them, and Hosanna Revival then used those artworks in their email and social media marketing of the project.
Week one's prompt focused on Psalm 16: 1-4. "Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge." (Verse 1) Anytime I read the word "refuge" in the Bible, my mind goes to trees. In Psalm 52, David equates himself to an olive tree flourishing in the house of God, and that's how I pictured the saints in the land – flourishing, golden olive trees growing in a grove together, delighting in one another under their Heavenly Father. I created the piece with oil pastels, a medium I absolutely love but seldom think to use.
This painting is based on a vision I had during a time when I felt enchained by sin in my life. In my dream, this greenhouse hidden in the middle of a forest was an inexplicable place of fear and dread that haunted me. Yet somehow, somewhere in that dream the Lord showed me He had overcome it. No longer did this darkness hold any power over me – He has freed me of it. With this artwork, I wanted to remind myself that Jesus has taken my shadows and transformed them into lovely, pleasant places. The greenhouse that was once a house of dread is now a beautiful inheritance.
"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."
-Psalm 16: 4-5
Week 3 was centered on Psalm 16:7-8. The process of creating this piece began entirely abstract. I prayed as I worked, asking the Lord to bless the work of my hands as I made marks on the paper. I started with darker, moodier colors, inspired by the words "in the night also my heart instructs me." In those darker marks, I made a bold patch of bright yellow – 'I have set the Lord always before me." Initially I was working on this piece vertically, but when I turned it sideways, within my random marks I began to see a landscape, and something more concrete began to emerge. It felt like a beautiful picture of what it is to trust Jesus in the daily unknowns of my life, and a very real reminder of how he guides me with his counsel, even in something as simple as creating a painting
"I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken."
Before starting on this last painting, I asked my mom for her thoughts on the last three verses of Psalm 16.
"Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
The image I created was a garden she described: shimmering in the early, misty morning sunlight, bursting with color and wonder, where our Father might lead us down the path of life as a mother leads her child, pointing out flowers and all sorts of wonders. As we walk hand in hand with Him in the garden, these are the eternal pleasures He shares with us forevermore.