what do you see?

When we left the church we were attending before I came to Colchester I was given a gift by the church of a painting (see picture above). It is by Juliet Hemingwray. The scan above does not do the picture justice: the colours are more vibrant and the gold is shinier.

What do you think of when you look at the picture? What does it say to you? If you want, please feel free to ignore the rest of the bloggerel here and simply look at the picture. I will leave a gap so you’re not distracted…

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…In the middle of the cross is a blob of gold. What is on the cross is incredibly valuable. That might represent Jesus, King of kings. Perhaps it represents the things I value most highly and my willingness to sacrifice them for God.

Is the cross being obscured by the different colours – perhaps representing how I can obscure Christ in my life by all of the different things I do and say, by my own priorities and valuing things that should not be so important? Or is it shining through, like the sun burning through fog, forcing its way into my awareness – representing the way that God makes himself known even when we are not looking for him? Does the red represent Christ’s blood, the deep blue representing the sky that was darkened when he died, the gold representing the glimpse of heaven that we get as we look at Jesus?

I don’t know what was in Juliet Hemingwray’s mind as she painted this picture. Perhaps it was none of the above! You may have seen completely different things there.

But I find that the image is compelling, challenging and comforting. And the same thing happens when you look at Jesus – not the ‘chocolate box’ gentle Jesus meek and mild – the radical teacher who broke through convention and religion in order to reveal God; the gentle friend who ignored the rules and befriended those on the margins of society; the King who was crucified as a common criminal; the corpse that was resurrected. You find what you need.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

A little girl was painting a picture. Her grandmother came over and asked what she was painting.

“I’m painting a picture of God,” answered the girl, matter-of-factly.

“But nobody knows what God looks like,” said her grandmother gently.

“Neither do I,” said the girl, “it’s actually a picture of a dog, but I heard a good story about a girl painting a picture of God and wanted to see if it would work on you.”

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