Posts Tagged ‘Dichotomy’

This is a subject came to me one day on a prayer walk. I have painted it many times before but never like this. It’s an image that has never managed to stay with me very long before someone has acquired it. It just seems to speak to hearts and for that I praise God.

I call it Dichotomy, a most unusual portrait of Jesus. It portrays Him as the lion of the tribe of Judah and the lamb of God. To me this captures both parts of his mission, Lord and Savior, the King and the Sacrifice. He is both to me, My Lord and mighty protector and gentle savior. I love this image but in the past, whenever I painted it, both faces were painted gentle with mouths closed, pictures of gentle strength. I always felt like something was missing.

I was reminded of this when reading the Chronicles of Narnia. In describing Aslan the lion, the Christ figure in the story, one of the children said, He’s not a tame lion but He is good. Somehow We’ve made the lion of the Tribe of Judah a soft little kitty cat and that is hardly the case. Jesus is the very essence of power. My lion needed to roar.

And the lamb. We have so sanitized the price He paid on that cross, that I don’t think we really think about the agony our sins cost. Maybe it’s easier that way. My sins could hardly have caused more than a flesh wound. No your sins and mine caused brutal agony and death, no matter how good we may think we are. Jesus paid a high price for you and me and we need to be grateful.

Putting these images together should provoke deep emotion. We see the mighty powerful roaring King. He could easily destroy us and with good reason, but instead He puts His might to use as our protector. We see the gentle lamb, who could have run but instead He stood in our places and took our beating. It’s a picture of a love without limits, a picture of boundless grace. It shows how much our Lord values you and me and begs the question, how much do you value Him.

I was preaching at a meeting not too long ago and I got the opportunity to share one of my favorite stories. I found the video online of me sharing the story and thought I would share it here.

Sometimes God asks us to do things we don’t want to do. The painting in this video is one of the best images the Lord has ever given me. I love to paint it, but I was in a place working with all these really creative artists and I wanted to do something really cool and different. I was praying for a new image but I kept feeling like God was pushing me to paint this piece again… The video tells the story

The end of the story is I gave the painting to the girl. I’ve painted that painting probably a dozen times now, and I have never kept it more than a few days. The image of Christ as lion and lamb, king and sacrifice, savior and Lord is not meant to be kept, it’s meant to be shared.

For weeks now, I have been excited for the art show I was to participate in on Saturday. All the work had to be created on site and it was going to be a lot of fun.

I was coming off a rough week, nothing major just a pile of little frustrations and aggravations that made me kind of stressed out. The art show was to be my Island of calm. Six hours of creating anything I wanted. My goal was to create to the glory of God and allow Him to use me and my work as He saw fit. No agenda beyond making stuff and serving Him. Several things happened over the course of the week that told me I needed to relax a little and find my joy again and I figured that the art show was where it was going to happen.

Well the show was about an hour and a half away from my house, so I loaded about half my studio into my car and headed there, anticipating a very relaxing day. I got about ten miles away from the site of the show when it happened. I began to hear a squeaking, squealing sound under my hood followed by thumping and jerking. I was following a nice guy who volunteered to lead me when I found myself slightly lost. When I pulled my car over he noticed I was no longer following and turned around. He pointed me to a parking lot just ahead and asked if I could get the car to a parking lot in the clearing ahead, so i limped it there and that is where it gave out completely. When I saw what the parking lot was I couldn’t believe it. I pastor Dave Weiss had my car die on the parking lot of a strip club. (no it wasn’t open and no I wouldn’t have gone in if it was.)

My first thought was Lord if you want me to relax you have a funny way of showing it. I was more than a little upset and my funk continued. My wife came and picked her husband up at the strip club, something neither or us ever thought we would say, and we went home. No art show for me.

But here’s the thing. I got home and got by myself and prayed (a large part of which felt more like venting to God, its okay He understands). I got out a lot of my stress and frustration and felt his peace start to come over me. A different message came to me than the one I planned for Sunday which I will post to tangle a little later in the week about a man named David who ended up where he didn’t belong, It seems somewhat appropriate don’t you think. I had been reading Psalm 51 earlier in the week and thought it was just for me but I began to see how it applied to a lot of what had happened in the week.

I sat down at my computer and started to write when my cell phone rang. It was someone I have been praying for for a long time asking me if I wanted to go for a walk. We had a great time and some really good discussion and I would have missed it had I been at the show. Once again God knew what He was doing. I missed the show, but God had something better.

This is one of the pieces I was going to paint at the show. Many of you may have seen it before but if not, check it out. I think it has a good message for us all.