As a kid I really wished that I could move the stars in the sky and see heaven behind them. I wanted to see an explosion of light, see the heavenly kingdom with Christ on His throne, and everything He has created that is far beyond our imagination. In this painting I included the pink, purple, and white of advent which help to convey the longing for Christ's second coming and to be in His presence. The heavens (or space) are rolled back to reveal heaven itself. Heaven is shown only with light bursting forth.
Out of the whirlpool of emotions and anticipation that comes in the Advent and Christmas seasons, we arrive in a place of gratitude and humility, yet joyful expectation. Creation is a marvel. The fall is a tragedy. God’s Incarnation is mind-blowing. Our redemption is beyond words. When we stop to consider what God has done, we can be nothing but awed and grateful. AND YET HE HAS PROMISED MORE. His grace has no end. So we yearn for more, with the sure hope of his promises.
As I play this piece, I think about our Advent searching for the light of Christ to shine in our lives and in our world. When we look into a mirror we see the light shining from without and reflecting from our own image. Looking into the light of Christ, we see both our own failings and weakness more clearly, but also His love and grace. The longer we look towards His light, the more His beauty captures our hearts and draws us in.
The months of snow and cold, if taken full advantage, often add a pause after the busyness of holidays and before the frenetic activity of the spring and summer. Just as in our agricultural past, the dark of winter afforded a time of rest, so too, I hope does this painting. A rest of the mind and a calming of the spirit.
Is Advent about waiting for baby Jesus to be born? No. For me, it is a time to be in the dark and be okay with that because I learn so much in the dark and that is where I wait to see what will be transformed. I haven't ever had a transcendent experience in the bright sunlight, any transformation in me happens in the dark. It is quiet and peaceful in the dark although the not knowing is a little scary. Lack of understanding, doubt, and my brokenness all part of the process, I accept them readily.
The "Triple Self-Portrait of Faith," by Michael Pollard. See this webpage for more information about this piece of art. Here is a preview:
The first Advent Mosaic from one of Holy Trinity's, and Anselm Society's, artists, Lisa Eisenhardt.