I love this piece I painted sometime back. I love the shadows, reflections, the soft texture of the path, the breeze almost felt in the leaves glistening in the sunlight, and that double-sided fence!
The entire scene is a perfect reflection of where I'm at right now. I have a major decision to make this month; I'm torn between an equal number of pros and cons. Ever been there?
Painting and studying the shadows, lights, and the variety and layers of color in a scene (photo or real-life) helps me quiet my thoughts and appreciate the beauty in God's complex creativity. I love the fence here too--a double-sided fence. While human hands made it, it's still a reminder that we need the Lord's protection in this world. Sometimes that means we need to set up some boundaries of our own. And to be clear, it's not always that we need protection from harmful things. Sometimes we need to be protected from making choices that would keep us from God's BEST! Can I repeat that? Sometimes we need protection from things (even good things) that would prevent us from God's best!
Jesus's disciple, John, tells us* that Jesus returned to heaven so the "Helper" would come to us. The Helper is the Holy Spirit who lives in those who put their faith in Jesus. Unfortunately, the clanging noise of life, swirling thoughts, and our emotions can sometimes drown our ability to sense the Helper's direction. That's when I have to visit with God in quiet places like this, reflecting on the many ways He reveals His majestic being. In places like this (even if I'm looking at pictures and paintings), I can get quiet again to hear His loving whispers and feel His warm embrace, reminding me He has a glorious plan.
*"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away,
for if I don't go away, the Helper will not come to you..." John 16:7a (ESV)
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