Thursday, March 31, 2016

Emerging from Despair

©Emerging from Despair - 9"x12" oil on wood pane


Just offering up this painting which I did a little while ago but due to certain circumstances in our family and the fact that Easter just passed, I would like to share as the symbol of hope of things beyond what we see.

Many churches display this type of lily as a symbol of purity, innocence and hope on the altar at Easter. The Lily has become sort of a symbol of the essence of the spirit of Easter. I read recently that these majestic flowers are often referred to as the "white-robed apostles of hope" because lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ's agony. Legend says that the white lilies sprung up where drops of Christ's sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow and deep distress. ( They have become the symbol of hope for Christians. 

One week ago I received a call from my sister that her middle son had passed away. Scott was only 35 but was in the midst of a battle with withdrawal from prescription medication. He was determined that this was not the life he wanted to live anymore. Scott was not a burden to any public health system. He worked as a kidney dialysis technician and functioned on a daily basis but carried the weight everyday of his addiction to pain killers, Benzodiazepines and sleep aids. His family helped as much as they could to bring him comfort but in trying to manage his withdrawal, Scott passed of an accidental overdose. If any of you have ever dealt with Benzodiazepine withdrawal you know that it must be done cautiously because there are severe side affects. Scott passed in the night and as a family we are determined to get the message out to others that you are not alone and we will only be able to take control of this epidemic if we work together. Here is a link to Scott's obituary which took all the strength his family had in their struggle to put the truth out there.

So back to the reason for the Lily painting. Scott was a devout Christian and shared his faith whenever he could. He lived a life of faith. He believed in the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. So, being a "good and faithful servant" Scott entered into the kingdom of our Lord on March 23, 2016 sometime in the night. Nobody was in the room with Scott that night but we all know that, as the 23rd Psalm tells us, he did not fear the next stage of his journey. 

This lily is painted specifically in the stark contrast of the white symbol of hope emerging from the dark, fiery despair. A true symbol of purity emerging from a place we would think impossible to survive.  

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