First Wednesday references the First Wednesday of every month where my church holds a service for members and anyone else who want to get an extra dose of the Lord in a very intimate way and it's a time for those that serve on Sunday's to have a time where THEY are fed. I was asked to do a painting, well three paintings burring the Lord's Supper service for the first Wednesday of April, right before this Easter weekend. I couldn't have been more blessed by it. If you know me at all, this is what I feel I have been put on Earth to do, one of my many tasks and it's to show God's love to the world through images and anything my hand can make as an artist. It's one of my most rewarding gifts, one that I am most passionate about. You know when you are looking for the perfect tool for something and you have tried all these other makeshift tools to do the job and they may get it done but you have to work REALLY hard at it.... until you FINALLY find the right tool and it just goes so easily and takes the work out of it for you and it's like they were made for each other? Well... for me... this is how I feel when I get to be a part of something like this past Wednesday's service.
Being on the stage and sharing the images of Christ on the cross with an audience isn't really what I thought about, it wasn't performance art... it was truly an act of worship for me. It's what I was made for.
Before I went out to paint for the next 55 minutes I prayed and asked God to bless the people there, bless Pastor David as he spoke, bless the band and the singers and to show me what He wanted me to do and to let it all work out, I was a little nervous about finishing 3 paintings 6x6 ft. in 55 minutes... but I was trying to just trust Him. I prayed God, what do want to say to me, i feel like I am talking and you really just want to tell me something... quiet my heart and speak to me. in my soul I heard " just be with me"
I asked again thinking it was in my own head... He spoke again, "just be with me". If you have experienced God speaking to you it's not audible as you would imagine BUT VERY audible in the sense that you hear His voice.... you know it's Him. I started to cry feeling like I didn't deserve such a request and I wanted to hide my face ashamed of how distracted I had been in the weeks prior and even in the midst of my prayer... but I needed to go on stage in a few minutes so I wiped my face and stood up.
During the next hour I just listened to God, sang to Him, heard His word through David,thought about the cross, thought about the gift, the blood, the way it must have felt, the Hurt God must have had, the people seeing this, spitting on Him, hitting Him, the moment He felt His Father had left Him, what Jesus' mother was thinking, the disciples, the cup, the betrayal, my sin, my fault, my need, my love, His grace, Heaven, His hands, His feet, His side, the wounds.... forgiveness, mercy, sovereignty, everything seams so small in light of Him, thank you God, don't let me forget, don't let me wash over this, burn the image of the cross on my heart that I might always remember what You gave.
"But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that borough us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
We all like sheep have gone astray, each has turned his own way and the Lord has laid on Him the inequity of us all." Isaiah 53:5-6
To a lost world, these images are just a gruesome, overdone, over depicted look at something that happened thousands of years ago... to us who believe, it's a beautiful sight at love to the highest measure. Have a wonderful Easter and remember why we call today good Friday.