Wednesday, November 2, 2011

in which i fly with yellow wings


A few weeks ago I did a giveaway on my blog.  One of the items was a custom art piece based on a scripture of the winner's choosing.  About a week or two after the giveaway happened, I actually started thinking about how I had to paint something.  Something that this winner might like.  I honestly had no vision for what was supposed to appear on this canvas until I took a Sabbath day.

I had been outside on my patio, reading a book, when I just happened to look up.  As I gazed at the clouds, this bright yellow goldfinch flew over my head.

Hope, He said.  Paint hope for her.


And so I got started on the sky.  And I finished the blue.  And then I stopped painting so it could dry.  It dried for about another week or so.  You know, the It's drying excuse can only last about 24 hours, but you see, I knew I had to paint the bird next and I didn't know how.  All I remembered was yellow.  Bright, vibrant yellow against a clear, beautiful blue sky.

And so, I did research and looked at dozens of goldfinches online.  Did you know, their bodies are yellow and their wings are gray, brown, and white?  And did you know that it looks really funny when I paint a body of yellow and wings that don't seem to match.  And though my colors were realistic, when I stood back, I did not see hope in this bird.  I saw...blah.  The yellow body -- the hope -- looked so small in comparison to the drab wingspan.  And so, frustrated, I railed at God a bit.  I railed at myself a bit for undertaking such a task.  And then, when I finally shut-up, He said,

Paint it like you remember it.  There is power in the vision.  There is power in how you saw it in the beginning.  There is power because I gave this to you as a gift.


And so, I painted the wings with more yellow.  And it is not realistic, but it is hope.  And I think to myself often these days as I speak in front of my class, as I try to grasp hold of what He is asking me to do, and the grayish-brown substance that I call reality keeps getting in my way.  It starts to taint the vision that He has given me.  It starts to lay out the shoulds and the supposed-tos.  It sets expectations and lays down the rules.  And yet, I now start to ponder...

Is my reality the same as God's reality?  Am I assuming a grayish-brownish world is true and the yellow feathers on the wings are not?  Do I trade hope for logic?  Do I box God into my world or do I let Him take me with Him into His?  And I think...I want to be free from the constrains of the world.

I want to fly...with yellow wings.

What about you?  How is your world colored?


Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose and Jennifer for Sneak Peak Friday.

27 comments :

  1. I woke up a little blue. I wrestled to sleep with questions after the light went off last night. I slept heavy on them and the heaviness remains. I am off to a friend's house an hour away to spend the day. I think I will find yellow over there---I am hoping to.

    Have a blessed day. I love the yellow hope bird. May hope rise in all who see your gift of art placed here today.

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  2. I absolutely love this, Jen. You have touched me today in this post and in your painting of the yellow bird flying on hope's wings. I needed to see and read this today. (Missing my boy so very much and I need to keep the vision of future before me and not the painful reality.)

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  3. I just love the whole idea...yellow wings AND flying. Although I have a phobia of flying in an airplane..but flying with God? Yes:)
    xo

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  4. Is my reality the same as God's reality?" I'm afraid my answer is no. I want it to be, but I know I color my world through my own eyes more than through his. I want to do better though, see more accurately, more truthfully. Thanks for the point in the right direction.

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  5. I love it! You did an awesome job!

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  6. "Do I trade hope for logic?"... a tension I know well in my life! Thanks for sharing this Jen- some great questions to dwell on... And... the picture turned out fabulous, well done! :)

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  7. Your painting is beautiful, Jen! And just perfect for the one who is going to receive it. Thank you so much for this message today! This spoke directly to my heart, "Am I assuming a grayish-brownish world is true and the yellow feathers on the wings are not?" Something to think about. Many blessings!

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  8. How lovely this yellow bird, a true reminder.

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  9. He is coloring my world with vivid colors I have not known...from dull hues of gray to bright yellow wings to fly...
    Blessings as we fly together...

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  10. May hope find me today, and not only that, I really need the wings to be yellow. Thank you Jen.

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  11. I live in a world of clear, non-gray colors...after all, I live in Florida where the light reads colors more beautifully.

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  12. i think your bird of Hope is lovely...adn the world could def use a little brighter colors ...

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  13. Your challenge reminds me that the world's reality is not God's vision - and that we are to see the world through God's vision - I try hard not to let the world pull me down, to see things the world's way - but to see it how God sees it and soar!

    Your post is just simply beautiful! The art, the challenge, the story - simply encouraged my heart!

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  14. Love your work my friend, and I giggled at the drying excuse.

    How is my world colored? Lately, my world has been a funky orange.

    Hey, I have an idea for your next series. . . something on art. Yep. That's me doler-outer-of-free advice.

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  15. Your post and painting made me smile inside. Thank you for who you are and for who God has made you to be! Love it!

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  16. i know this drying excuse. i have a painting "drying" right now, and it has been for over a week now. :) i LOVE how you listened to God, instead of trying to do it yourself... how he speaks to you, tenderly friend. it's so beautiful. you are a kindred spirit, i think. :) xo

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  17. What a beautiful painting, Jen! I'm glad you just listened to Him!

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  18. Great post, Jen. Even though you told me this story in person, when you write it, it has such meaning. It made me smile and nod in agreement. I do it too -- let reality get in the way. I love the painting! I need a painting for my dining room wall that's about 6 ft x 4 ft. ;) JK!

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  19. I love this part: "Paint it like you remember it. There is power in the vision."
    Thanks, Jen!

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  20. I should add that photorealism shows only the "now," but God already sees the future, when potential is realized. A powerful picture of Hope, indeed!

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  21. I am sooo guilty of seeing my reality an dnot God's. I pray that I can see the world as he see's it. That would change everything. A scary thought, isn't it?! But, his plans and thoughts are much better than mine.

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  22. Love the blue and yellow. And I enjoyed hearing the story of how you came up with the painting, a little at a time. It's amazing the ideas we come up with when we take a "Sabbath day," when we get still and listen to Him. :)

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  23. "Paint hope for her"... I just love that Jen. Love how He inspired your piece. I love the little goldfinch! We have them here and just adore watching them. I think we all want to fly with yellow wings! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing with us 'in the studio' this week!

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  24. I am ADORING how the Lord brought this together through you.

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