I am re-posting this one because the original posting got truncated during one of the site updates.
Many years ago my good friend and fellow artist asked me to join her weekly art class. Since she was teaching fairly basic classes I had no interest in doing so. She was insistent, however, from her desire to get me out of the house and socializing with those in her circle. I finally agreed and showed up with my sketch pad and boredom all in tow.
She had assembled the expected bowl of fruit, with apples, oranges, bananas and cascading bunches of grapes. Not really your standardized collection since she included the leaves on the grape clusters and even inserted a couple of wild flowers here and there. Nice, but it still didn’t grab my interest.
She set up a single light source and then told the class to sketch the assortment by using a single color. “All but you, Rhonda,” she said. “You are to sketch only the shadows.”
- Pro 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Now she had my attention. Imagine the dimpled effect of the orange, the smooth textures of the bananas and the swirling effects of the apples. This is not to mention the multiple displays of light exchanges on the grapes and leaves. Not only was this an advanced assignment, but as it turned out, this was one of the more fruitful (excuse the pun) lessons in my art career. My boredom turned to amazed interest, and continued throughout my life, to seek the light source and its profound or subtle affects. The light can drastically change the object.
- Jhn 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
The shading on a grapefruit differentiates that fruit from an orange, and makes it 3 dimensional. We are the same. Our past experiences apply layers of shading to us, to make us who we are. Our Father, our Light Source, reveals the beings that are shaped by His Hand and reveals that we are not flat people walking around with no purpose, but are instead highly intricate, detailed beings with depth and substance.
- Rom 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Imagine a painting with a man walking down a road under a bright afternoon sun. With no shadow the man would not be grounded. He would not appear to belong in the painting. He would seem to be a blemish instead of part of his surroundings. With the shadow, meaning the hardships, the trials, the ups and downs of life, he wouldn’t have substance. Perhaps our trials help to anchor us, to keep us connected.
- Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
I know many who seem to have longer shadows than others. They have endured much, and still are buffeted by some tough times. Yet they also seem to grow in beauty, and in stature. Like a highly detailed painting, they seem to stand out from the rest. It is those that carry the extra strokes of the charcoal, the added dabs of paint that we have come to know as the beauty and timelessness of the Masters.
- 2Cr 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.