Friday, September 9, 2011

Guardian 1 - finished

The finished painting...(I have since painted the background a lighter shade of blue, 
scroll to the bottom of the post see how it looks now)

16" x 20" artist canvas...sides painted black and ready to hang
words across the robe read "...their angels always see the face of My father who is in heaven..."


The story:
Guardians.  We are guarded by heavenly hosts, even from childhood according to Scripture.  I suspect the assignment begins at the moment of conception, as God's esteem of the preciousness of all life would warrant the protection of even the smallest component.  I think the Spirit's conversation over all this was prompted by my attention over the changes needed in the left wing (mentioned in last week's post here).  My thoughts, mingling with His, telling me it didn't have to be perfect, to match the other wing perfectly..."after all, why can't each wing, every feather, be as unique as a snowflake...as unique as each one that the angels are assigned to guard.  Wouldn't the Creator God be as intrigued with variety, as bored with sameness as your creative heart?"  I was listening, my brush gaining more freedom as the words soaked into my inmost being.  

I adjusted the lighting so you could see the texture in the canvas...
the canvas was a garage sale find, and I painted over what was there, but left the texture. 

There is texture in the face - look around the eyes and you can see it.
 

He continued, "And since their wards are children, wouldn't the guardian appear in a way that would appeal to a child?  Perhaps feathers in disarray?" (At this point I am wondering why I even picture angels with feathered wings?! The result of culture no doubt!) And images of angels with wing feathers all askew, smudges on faces and crooked baseball caps along with rumpled robes were parading in my mind at this point!  Very appealing to the children I was thinking!  The words continued, "Why do you carry the image of perfection in the heavenlies that you do, the image of symmetry and order that has no variation, nothing "out of place"?  Yes, the angels, being spirit beings, can transform themselves, ...they can appear with perfect symmetry as you imagine, or as imperfect as any child, even to the point of appearing just as a human".  And I am wondering why, if they are simply beings of light, do I think of them as having wings at all (?) - and He faithfully floats up the description of the cherubim in Ezekiel...ah yes, there are the wings...and I am grateful that He even knows when my heart is becoming confused, and takes the moment to help untangle it...
close-up of eyes and face

The words were rushing, or perhaps it was word pictures being dropped in my spirit.  Truths that I have planted deep were being drawn to the surface and woven through new ideas - to me - that were as old as time itself...the definition of perfection - God's definition (the Hebrew word translated "perfect" carries the meaning of being complete, whole, sound...); plus the verse from Matthew 18:10 which declares "their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven" (ESV).  I know somewhere that beholding His face, being in His Presence, is the source of perfection: I am complete in Him; I lay my brokenness down in exchange for His Wholeness.  (More truths here)

The image of the angels gazing at His face in heaven, of understanding their being complete in His Presence, not in and of themselves, was a subtle thought, yet somehow it was as if I always knew it, that I just hadn't had opportunity to solidify it till now...

And couldn't it just be possible, that the great conflict in heaven, where a third of the angels lost their way, is the same conflict that we face?  Especially since it was with the same foe?  That the battle the angels faced was over "Will I remain at His throne, beholding His face, worshipping Him only and not turn my face away?"  That it was the subtle, temptation to the individual, to turn to something (or someone) other than the Lord God for completion, satisfaction, wholeness?  That it was a quiet battle fought in the heart, and not with shields and bows and weapons of this world, as depicted in Renaissance works of art?  The thought was astounding, and yet I know that the deepest battle I face is just that...will I remain at His throne, beholding His face? Or will I be distracted away...

And the wing is finished; I emerge from deep thought, thankful that my guardian still is by my side, and has faced the same battles I do, and always beholds the face of My Father, even when mine has turned...

A new, lighter blue background now....


Joining with Jennifer and other creatives at Studio JRU...
StudioJRU

0 comments: