Saturday, August 23, 2014

Naomi's Story - Blessed Assurance

I’ve never met anyone who acts like a child more than Naomi.  I know that sounds like a dig, but it really isn’t.  She is a child before her creator, God and just like a child, Naomi talks to God.  A lot.  It’s a side of her I’ve admired from the moment I met her.  She innocently and faithfully talks to God, just like a kid talks to their dad.  She is honest and real with HIM and it was during a challenging day that she began to pray openly with her child-like heart.  The conversation took place as she was driving in her car.   It was a dreary, overcast day, but now and then the sun would tease and peek through the gray sky.

Naomi is in transition.  She is planning to move to Texas and wonders about the move.  Specifically, she wonders about God and asks questions.  Where was HE in this leg of her journey?  She had been seeking HIS reassurance, but she wasn't hearing that still small voice she was familiar with.  So, she decided to pray that day while in her car.  She wanted God at the center of everything and told HIM so.  Could he please just show himself to her?  Just a word, anything.   Suddenly, in that moment, the sun came out.  It wasn’t an ordinary appearance, though.  It seemed to permeate her car as well as her heart.  It went right into her soul.  She completely felt HIS presence and it was an obvious answer to her childlike pleas. 

The sun looked soft and sweet, and it disappeared back into the clouds almost like a drape being slowly drawn away.  It left behind, though, feelings and emotions almost too deep to put into words.  She felt overwhelmed.  It was clear God's Spirit was present with her.  She felt HIS peace, joy, and love in her body.  At that moment, she wished she could somehow capture the memory forever.

The following morning, after her quiet time, she reflected on the experience and decided to call me.   She shared what happened to her and also told me how the song, Blessed Assurance ran through her head as a result of her experience.  She asked if there might be a way to express her experience through my art.  This is my interpretation of Naomi’s experience, which I call, Blessed Assurance.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tony's Story

Lung cancer.  That was Tony’s diagnosis.  For Tony, this was just one small story on his journey.  He has many stories that reveal God’s faithfulness in ways impossible to explain on a human or earthly level.  On this leg of his journey, the lung cancer was just a minor detail.

Tony already took action by placing his trust in God’s hands.  He had faithful believers holding him up in prayer and from one unlikely circumstance to another, the way was made for Tony to receive treatment for his cancer at Mayo Clinic.  That in itself was not too extraordinary.  What was extraordinary was how the timing of his treatment hurdled over the usual timeline for cases like his.

Through this “unusual” timing, Tony was able to receive attention and care for his cancer.  Part of his treatment was a special type of radiation that made him feel quite afraid.   Even though there were doctors in the room, he felt alone.   As he lay still in the machine that would administer his treatment, he told the Lord how afraid he actually was.

He turned his head and clearly present with him at that moment, was Jesus.  The assurance he felt right then was overwhelming.  What added to that sense of assurance were the hundreds of faces he saw behind Jesus.  Tony remembered how many prayer lists he was on, and the faces were a vision of all those praying for him.  He was truly covered in prayer.

Joshua 1:9 is the scripture that Tony thought of that expressed his faith through this situation.

“…The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go…”

This is my interpretation of Tony's vision, created through mixed media collage...