Friday, August 24, 2007

here, some new garmets with which to adorn yourself

Romans 5:13-14, “…What a contrast between Adam and Christ, who was yet to come! And what a difference between our sin and God’s generous gift of forgivenenss.”

There are Zebras in Africa. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to see any, but I know that they live there. As I was reading this verse from Romans, I began to think of zebras, because of their contrasting strips. I don’t know what would contrast more than black and white, and I find it interesting that God has built a picture of this contrast into creation.

The panel of yellow is to portray the heavenly clothes that God has waiting for those who place their faith in Jesus Christ. When someone with AIDS looks simply at their life in the world, there wouldn’t appear to be much hope. However, with an eternal perspective, there is an everlasting hope that can be held on to when they look to Jesus for hope. On top of the yellow I put one flow of purple. In the bible, purple seems to be a color of royalty.

1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

Finally, the colors on the right are the colors of the stones that are to be in the wall of the New Jerusalem that will be in Heaven. This can be found in Revelation 21:18-20.

“The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve gems: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.”

Saturday, August 11, 2007

polka dots, blood, snow, etc.

There are polka dots on this painting. They are to show the black blots that are our sins.

But there is a part-two to this. The flows of red are intended to speak of the way in which Jesus’ blood washes and cleanses us of our imperfections, shortcomings, iniquities, etc. The flows of red turn into progressively cleaner shades of red, to show how God continues to author and perfect our faith through Jesus’ blood.

Then there is the white. Through the grace extended to us through Jesus Christ, where once we were dirty, we can now become white as snow.

Isaiah 1:18 says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (New International Version)

The verse on the white is the answer to the verse from the first painting.

Habakkuk 2:3 reads, “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”
(New Living Translation)

AIDS isn’t going disappear right away. It will take time, but I believe there is a time coming when God’s vision for the eradication of AIDS will be fulfilled.

Which leads to painting no. 3.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

solutions of the world, or the great shortcomings that may follow:

This painting has a couple ideas to it.

It was created to be coming from the standpoint of one who has been infected with HIV, questioning the sovereignty of God. The words, a verse from Habakkuk 1:12 ask,

“Is your plan in all of this to wipe us out? Surely Not!”

Many people who contract this disease are quite often stigmatized, hated, untouched, left to die alone, etc. Surely they would question and are questioning what God is doing in such a situation, and for good reason.

Another idea that is contained here is that of the solutions of the world, and how really, they are only masking a problem that requires a much more sovereign solution. With HIV and AIDS, the world has some solutions. Some sound halfway good. Some are a bit more far-fetched and unrealistic. Some say to solve AIDS by solving poverty. Some say to solve AIDS by promoting the use of condoms. Some say to solve AIDS through education. Though these may sound somewhat effective, but they are not without their errors. These solutions can only go so far in preventing the spread of such a disease. In all reality, they would only mask parts of a problem that is only continuing to worsen.

But don’t fret. There is hope.

These are the people I hold in my hands on a constant basis.

While I was in Africa, God put an idea for a painting in my head, which is the first painting that I'll post. This idea for one painting then turned into more ideas, for more paintings.

In working with the issue of HIV and AIDS, I saw that God is wanting to do something in regards to this issue. And he is putting it on the hearts of his people to do something.

He has put it on my heart to portray the message of restoration that he longs so deeply to speak into the hearts of these people. People with HIV. People with AIDS. People that God loves just as much as he loves you; as much as he loves me.

There is a hope for HIV and AIDS in our world, and that hope is Jesus Christ. These paintings are meant to speak something of that.

But even more so, I'm thinking that these paintings also have a bit to say about the ways in which God has made a way for all of us, (with or without AIDS,) to come before his throne. To Run to him. To kiss his feet. To worship him. In this there is restoration, and in this there is life, of the eternal sort.

I would have wasted away long ago without such a hope.