So when someone recently donated a high-quality HP printer that uses archival ink to Young Life’s Printing Services, perfect for fine art giclee prints, I think God had me in mind! Through this new partnership, I am able to initiate new editions easily and make them more affordable. We’ve recently re-priced all my prints at Pamba Toto. We are now offering them in several different sizes, with most images starting at $37 (fits standard-size frame 14″ x 18″). If you are interested in an image or size that isn’t listed, please ask!):
Dense, opaque tendrils curl, clutch me captive. I wither in the cruel confines of this grasp. When suddenly, inexplicably, the darkness reels back upon itself, cringing. Light flung like glitter, gleaming like oil on water, unveils the secret of this murky prison cell. The mystery of the darkness – myriad colors warped, bound so densely as to obscure their luminosity. Light, like water in paint, expands the colors, like galaxies flowing into a universe. Hope flares. With surprised, eager cry, wings flutter furiously and soar past this trembling, crackling transition. A tender strand of light lures onward, upward. Released on currents of light, I fly to you.
I felt incredibly privileged to visit Haiti with Young Life at the beginning of 2014 as a volunteer “storyteller.” Certainly the crushing poverty haunts me; but when I dig deeper, I discover brilliantly-colored treasure intensified by the darkness surrounding it: a secret trove far below the tumultuous surface of crisis, poverty, and need. This treasure, planted and nourished by Something more powerful even than the quagmire of Haiti’s challenges, grows up through people there who live with courage and sacrificial love, stretches out like branches over barren hills, provides shelter and hope for a nation. And hope for all who struggle. 10% of profits benefit Sanctuary of Hope, as with all my art and print sales; but for this special edition, the remaining 90% of profits benefit Young Life Haiti.
Bushes still burn today
without being consumed.
I feel the flames
in dark corners of the world
where people suffer -
the Spirit of God brooding,
fierce with unquenchable yearning
to gather His little ones into His arms.
I can only fall to my knees
in humble adoration,
let the fire overtake my being.
And on this holy ground,
I am transformed.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, like Moses’ burning bush, like Jacob’s ladder, the summons comes. Anticipation trembles like leaves before a storm. Status quo groans and grumbles. Like Lazarus, I throw it off as so many dead rags. I lift my head. I’m undone. Suddenly knowing if only the light will touch me, shine through me, it is enough. I am summoned to arise. As are you.
Sometimes in the journey of life I feel the powerlessness of what I cannot change or even understand. There are no words to verbalize fears sprouting wildly, out of control.
Painting becomes a scramble to a pinnacle of safety, to a place beyond it all, to the shelter found in the wings of the One who promises to be near the crushed and broken-hearted. The One who says, yes, “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The music fades and a priest addresses the congregation, gathered in celebration of women committing to the Mother Teresa order in Nairobi, Kenya. He describes the life these women will live. He takes a rose carried down the aisle by a child and places it in the hand of a postulant. He asks her to pass it hand-to-hand, missionary-to-missionary. He explains that their lives will be like the rose, continually passed from person to person. Like the rose, they will become ragged and spent. Their very lives will be their offering. Even so, they will spread hope and beauty to many.
If I could, like a weed releasing its tender seeds, stop trying so hard and simply yield into what I am meant to be, I suspect I would find that through all of this living and dying the sacred center holds: I belong to God, and it is enough.
Early in the morning, before the sun, I rise in a shadowed sleepy house. Shaking dreams from the edges of my mind, I cradle the Book. Eager, expectant, this my most treasured hour. I listen to steady slow breathing, rising from rooms all around. Overcome, my heart swells and overflows. It seeps and fills every nook and cranny, wraps around those still sleeping in layers they cannot see. Even those I miss so tenderly, tears falling into the tide, only evidence of love given and received. Loving still, and forever. My heart cannot contain this joy. Through all the pain and sorrow we walk together. Onward, hand-in-hand towards the One I meet early, before any other – Source of these rivers of gratitude flowing on.
God sees the last spark of light in our soul and shields its tiny flicker. He carries us.
Even so, this piece urges each of us to carry on His behalf the free-falling in our midst: the orphaned, the widow, the vulnerable.
For brief seconds we glimpse freedom, yet it slips through our fingers. Somehow, we know we were meant for so much more than all of this. And surely one day these fleeting glimpses will be realized as deposits for what is to come, when our expectation becomes permanent reality. For one day, we are assured, we shall be free, free indeed.