This last summer I helped to facilitate a community art commission exploring how we try to find hope in the midst of failed dreams and deadened hope—specifically how people of faith respond respond to experiences where they feel betrayed by God. For my own entry, I branched out of my photographic comfort zone and made a painting with my digital tablet. I’ve been captivated by aesthetic of cinematic concept art for some time, so it is exciting to finally take a baby step in this direction. For more on how this intersects with my personal journey, see my artist statement below.
Clearcut is not so much a destination in itself as a snapshot from an ongoing process. For me, this has been a process of reconciling a series of failures and disappointments with my hope in God and for the future. So many of the dreams God has given me seem to have crashed on the rocks, dried out in the sun, failed, or just died. To the open road of the future, my spirit goes limp.
In this space, the words of Israel’s prophets cut through the confusion into my soul. The hearts, bodies, and stories of these men are seared with living Truth. Their words are disturbing and provocative, but drenched in the vivid colors of eternity, and it is here that I have seen hope. I’ve started my day readings these words, fighting with them, trying to understand them, and then falling asleep listening to them again. They continue to haunt and confuse me, yet they don’t leave me hopeless. Even in God’s most severe judgement, there remain powerful seeds of hope. Seeds that promise a better future.
The fire and smoke of judgement are also the pillar and cloud of God’s delivering presence and shelter. The Cedars of Lebanon are destroyed, but the stumps of these blessings-turned-idols become the nurselog for the shoot of Jesse. The light that exposes this destruction and scorches the earth is also the light that brings life to the new shoot.
May our clearcut dreams leave space for seeds of the kingdom to grow—space to find the Light of Life.
Completed October 3, 2010
Media: Digital tablet, Photoshop
Output: 8×12″ Epson Print