Psalms (70), 71; Jer.4: 9-10, 19-28; Rom. 2: 12-24; John 5: 19-29
“For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.
As I prepare to write this Lenten Meditation I open my heart to the strength and light that is ours from Jesus Christ.
In particular, the LIGHT that flows into us as we read the Bible and the passages that are mentioned above. Light is expressed in our eyes, in the words we utter, in the hope that is in our hearts. “For I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord”.
As a child born at the height of the Great Depression, I was aware of a great sadness around me, a loss of hope for many, a difficulty that was all around me, even though I did not have a name for it and certainly did not understand it. But I believe there developed in me an intuitive thinking about the problems of others, an over-sensitivity. When I first started painting at the age of eleven, I was very observant of just about everything. I looked. I listened. I read. I learned the Beatitudes, the Nicene Creed, the books of the Bible and regularly attended church, Sunday school, camp, choirs -- all of which nourished me.
After a few years of painting lessons I started to paint portraits. There is so much to paint in a face -- I can spend hours, even now, painting an eye, or a lip, the curve of the cheek. But then, I painted the sadness in everyone’s expression. I could not get away from it - perhaps because I was sad as well.
I had to make a conscious effort to see into the subjects and paint their happiness.
Sometimes we have to “dig” about a bit to see what is inside of a person, but it really is the thing to do. One of my first “portraits” was of a classmate, a beautiful teenager with pure white blond hair, and big blue eyes. What I did not paint were her eyes (I didn’t know how) and when I brought it home to my mother, she asked me about that. It was a big canvas. Harriet died at a very young age. Do you suppose I could have seen that?
God’s hand guides me as I paint. A very famous artist in our current day is known as the “Painter of Light.” I hope to be known as the “Painter of INNER Light”, and I know that God’s hand will continue to guide me. I am grateful for the gift He has given me.
Barbara A. McEwen
Barbara and her husband Bill and have been members at St. Margaret’s for about eleven years. She sings in the Adult Choir at St. Margaret’s and facilitates the painting class on Mondays.