Season of Lent

See this oil painting “Lenten Flower” come alive in 1 minute (time lapse)

It’s that time of year again, when many people reflect on what redemption means. For those who practice Lent, this may mean taking part in fasting or giving something up. For many who don’t religiously participate, the Lenten season may still be a time of reflection. These challenging times are especially focused on what it means to be set free, both literally and spiritually.

Last night I had a nightmare that my husband, oldest daughter and I were in a car that was flung off a cliff. As the car descended, I told both of them that I loved them, and I reflected that I had a good life, if this should be the end. But I prayed frantically for a miracle. Then we landed- onto a thick black mat that seemed made of melted rubber, like children’s indoor commercial play-area flooring. The mat was floating on foamy water, as part of a landfill. Our car was nearly on the center of the mat. We had survived! My dream self said, (because we are alive) “We must be here for a reason.” Then, my awake self thought the same thing: We are alive. We must be here for a reason.

I spent the day doing more than I usually do. I am grateful to be here. Let every moment we’re here be heavy with purpose. May we treasure our time and our energy, lest our purpose be frittered away by the manufactured realities that others push on us. We were made for so much more than this. This Lenten season, let us reflect on what mercy is, and know that we are loved by God.

Good Friday

To mark Good Friday as a day of remembrance and humility, an artistic rendering of the cross is typically focused on the beauty of redemption, rather than physical suffering and unjust violence. However, the symbol of the cross represents the evils that often go unsaid. The battle between good and evil, ignorance and spiritual enlightenment, betrayal by people close to us, and divisions among political, economic, and social classes were humanity’s struggles for thousands of years and continue to this day.

The oil painting above is called “Cross and Lily“. Two of my other cross paintings are “Floral Cross” and “Celtic Cross“. Below, my kids and I are singing with the church choir “Precious Lamb”. As you can see, my live event footage is from before the ban on singing.

In the above song “Precious Lamb”, the lyrics that speak to me the most are about the “blameless one” carrying the blame, and the “life giver” giving His own life. When the innocent are sacrificed while the guilty go free we long for victory, in which all wrongs are righted. Sometimes the only path to freedom is through mercy; being blessed to receive forgiveness, and strong enough to forgive others.

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