In preparation for this painting I had drawn a few marks to outline the composition, these soon disappeared under layers of paint. On returning to the studio the next day however, they had reappeared, boldly standing there as three clear crosses.
These marks were quite a distraction so again I painted over them, but the next day- there they were! At this point I took drastic action and painted over them in black paint, re working the sky on top. The next day yet again the marks were there ! All I could see we're the marks and no matter what I did they would resurface. There was only one course of action to be taken. I took a knife and some boiling water, and scrapped the paint away right down to the naked canvas, right to the point when the marks were made. I then simply washed them away; they needed to be removed, not covered up !
When I saw this field from the car I pulled in and took photographs. I had to act quickly because the wind was pushing the clouds across the sky with urgency. The effect was dramatic and as the sun broke through it gave the impression of a searchlight sweeping across the land looking for what it might find.
Below was the field. Harvest had stripped away leaving carnage in it’s wake; a dramatic and violent event.
There is coming a time soon when the Light of God’s marvelous love will sweep across the land, searching men’s hearts, looking into their very souls, and there will be a harvest. It will not be gentle, it will be urgent.
What is left behind will not be neat.
I stand in the vaulted underworld of the Royal Academy of Art, waiting for my rejected paintings. Above me is the exhibition; hundreds of accepted works hang in splendor, and the public gaze in wonder at the skill and beauty of these works, some though, are wondering at the selection; it's always a point of interest who gets in and who doesn't.
Earlier today I had asked God to protect my mind as I undertook this task, I knew the temptation for me would be to think wrong thoughts, that I was a failure; rejected. The ceiling above me is indeed vaulted - grand, but it is not the gallery, it is the 'outer court' - all the unwanted work is kept here, not exhibited, this is where the rejected artist stands and waits. I am wondering if the man looking for my paintings will look AT them and have an opinion too, yes, I am feeling vaunerable.
My mind settles on the words 'SHAME and REJECTED,' but I have asked God to protect my mind, and, remembering my responsibility to take thoughts captive, I give no space for these words, instead, I remind myself of the truth in God's word; that everyone who believes in Jesus will not be put to shame. (Rom10:11) Jesus took my shame upon Him on the cross, that I am accepted and loved by God; not rejected.
I don't actually have to do anything, achieve anything or be anything to earn this acceptance.
As the man goes in search of the paintings my spirit drifts to another 'outer court' - this is the one just outside The Throne Room of Heaven, and as I wait while my arrival is announced, I feel tremendous peace as I know I am accepted, and my work is good enough; I have done my best you see, as I did it for the King. 'For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ... (2Cor 10:3)
What strongholds in your mind have you overcome recently by standing on the truth?
I painted this field because I loved the deeply cut track suggesting someone who knows the way has forged an inviting track for others to follow in. It is not an easy path though; it reminded me of the path Jesus trod to bring us to God.
“I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father, except by me.” John 14: 6
Described in Isaiah 53 ‘He took our suffering on Him and felt our pain for us. We saw His suffering and thought God was punishing Him. But He was wounded for the wrong we did; He was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to Him, and we are healed because of His wounds.’
The question is, do we want to make our own way through life along unchartered paths, or are we prepared to follow Jesus who leads us straight to God? ‘ As for God, His way is perfect.’ (Psalm 18: 30)
Is at least worth walking along to have a look?