I met a couple from the states some years back who lived several years in China. They told us stories about the Chinese church--its dangers and the daily commitment from Believers to serve Christ. To become a Christian in a culture where it's forbidden reminds me that God is experienced, not practiced. He invites us to have a relationship with Him, not just know about Him or try to please Him. He wants to live in us, not just to have us live for Him. That is something that laws and restrictions can't take away. If it's real, it's real. So many Chinese Believers suffer deeply because of their conviction of Christ's work on the Cross, as they are treated severely and often cut off from their friends and family.
You might be wondering what all this has to do with this painting. Don't worry, friends; I'm getting to that. You see, my missionary friends also explained that baptized individuals in China often give themselves a Christian name to represent the new creation they've become in Jesus (2 Corinthians 15:7). One man chose the name Moon. He reasoned that when people ask why his name is Moon, he could explain that the moon in the sky shines because it reflects the sun's light. He is Moon because his life reflects the Son, as in Jesus, the Son of God.
When I created this painting, I thought of my brother, Moon, in China. He has no idea how much his new name means to me and his reason for choosing it. He has no idea how much time I took to make the sun's reflection is evident in my work of this rarely captured full moon stuck in this one position on a clear night sky. It's so bright it appears to have burned a hole right through those clouds and lit the sky to the blue of almost daylight! I also love that it shines bright among an entanglement of trees that appear black in the night. It's a wonderful representation of our role in this world as ambassadors of Jesus--to shine bright His love in a dark and broken world.
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