Finding Meaning within the Big Picture

April 10, 2017

Luminescence! My recent quest to discover how to add more light to my paintings was fueled by a spark from scripture that has been tugging at my heart, "Rivers of living water will flow from within him" (Jn 7:58). I wondered, would it be possible to create the effect of light emanating from the water within a painting?


My first attempt turned out so-so:

Not quite content to leave it at that, I resolved to wait patiently for three days for the paint to dry before adding another layer of "light." The result was closer, but still didn't capture the image of brightness that was in my head: 

So my next step was to let the painting rest for a few days (aka avoidance).


During this time, I took a few photographs as I usually do, just to document the changes of each phase. As I shot around the various sections of the painting, I noticed some smaller scenes appearing, like mini paintings within the painting! What a beautiful discovery for me. This opened my eyes to a small field of wildflowers growing along the riverbank...



...a sunlit path trailing off to the shore...



...a sandy beach encrusted with shells...



...and a bright "red sky at night" scene....


How had I missed all of this wonder, this reverie, while I was painting it??


Then the light bulb went on (aka divine inspiration)! While focusing on my desire for the big picture to be perfect, I overlooked what was happening in the details right in front of me. Sounds like my life! When I allow my myriad concerns to pile up into a seemingly unconquerable conglomerate of obstacles, I lose sight of God's loving providence. Didn't He say He would be out there caring for those sparrows? Did I lose trust in Him by taking back the burden of worry and concern?


Thankfully in these moments of feeling overwhelmed, God lovingly reaches out to pull me back. A small sign is all it takes. I sense His love through a single bird song in early morning, a neighbor's wave hello, an encouraging word in a daughter's text. With each touch of grace, He gives me a chance to breathe and settle. Once again, He reassures me that He's got the big picture. Once again, God opens my eyes to His loving providence within the details.

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