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Painting: Circle of Friends - Redeemed

Painted live at the Vineyard National Gathering, July 2022

This piece was created over two of our gathering sessions: The first scene showed a piece of pottery, a circle of friends candle holder, that held numerous cracks between the hands, around the heart, the gut, the head, and the footing of different characters. One of the characters was looking up, with tears streaming down its face. This image was a prayer of lament, naming and expressing the brokenness we have experienced in our communities and friendships in this past season. This image sat in our worship space in this state of lament for 2 days.

On our final morning together a trinity symbol was created with gold leaf in the top corner of the canvas. While the band sung the lyrics, "and heaven meets earth with a sloppy wet kiss," the extended hand of Jesus was painted coming out of the divine trinity, representing the incarnation - when "the Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood" (John 1:14, the MSG). The scars on his hand were added, with red drips pouring down onto the broken circle of friends. And finally, out of this extension of the loving trinity, gold poured down onto the broken pottery, filling up the fractures in a similar fashion to the Japanese art form of kintsugi. With kintsugi, broken pieces of pottery are honoured, and, through the use of gold, are redeemed into something both useful and of great value. In the same way, God's fiery love pours into our cracks, filling brokenness, bringing beauty, and restoring our usefulness. This circle of friends candle holder is now strengthened, and can hold and share a candle of light once more.

As the artist I had the vision for the final culmination of the whole piece before I even put a drop of paint on the canvas. I was moved at how God, the Great Artist, would have had the same long term loving and redemptive perspective on all of creation. Before there was darkness, before God formed us, before we experienced brokenness, God already had a plan to enter in, become flesh, and make a way to meet us and fill us. Hallelujah."

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