Thursday, 4 May 2017

Sapphira

Sapphira
This piece is based on a 'story' from Acts about Ananias and his wife, Sapphira.

Ananias and Sapphira sold their property in order to contribute to the Apostles' fund for the poor. But rather than hand over every penny, they kept some back for themselves, saying though, that they were giving all the proceeds. Peter is aware of what they have done, exposes them, and both are struck down, dead.

At first, the initial reaction might be 'how could you?' and 'why?' Then I read a commentary about this that softened the initial perception of their actions. They so much wanted to be part of that early group of faithful, but they just couldn't bring themselves to give up every last penny of the proceeds from the property sale. They wanted a safety net for themselves.

I think many of us could sympathise with this kind of outlook!

So, my piece is of Sapphira. She holds a bottle of perfume, to represent that which she could not give up. She is in darkness, as she knows in her heart that what she and her husband are doing is wrong. She perhaps looks confident at first glance - nobody will know, all will be well. Yet looking closely at her face, she betrays just a shadow of that doubt within.
TFL!
Bernie x


Saturday, 29 April 2017

Anna

Anna
This morning I carried on reading the Book of Tobit - I'd stopped about 2/3 of the way through as I'd been so inspired to create some art lol! I also read more of the other two books I've been reading all week. Again, although on completely different subjects and having no connection to each other, the places I was at in my reading both covered the same theme - waiting.

The times when we can't control what's happening, eg waiting for test results about an illness, waiting to hear from others we care about. At times like these we can do nothing but wait. It can feel like an emptiness. But this waiting can still be a service; a time of prayer, doing what we're supposed to be doing at that time.

In the Book of Tobit, Anna is Tobit's wife and the mother of Tobias. Her son leaves for a far off place and she is distraught. The Book describes how every day she went to the road Tobias had taken out of town and waited for him to return. As he was delayed in returning, due to getting married, she must have become more and more fraught with worry. But all she could do was wait. Just imagine the joy, though, when her son finally returned!

So this piece is how I imagine Anna. Sitting at the roadside all day long, every day, simply waiting to once more see her son. She worries and can't look after herself - she weeps and doesn't sleep all night - but she waits.
TFL! 
Bernie x


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Sarah

Sarah

I tried something different today! Having prayed for inspiration, I opened my Bible at a random page. It fell to the Book of Tobit - not a Book I was overly familiar with! The 'story' within the Book is quite compelling!

Sarah, the woman in my piece, marries Tobit's son, Tobias. Sarah has been married 7 times before but was possessed by a demon, which killed each man who tried to get near her on their wedding nights.

When Sarah was told she was to marry Tobias, she must have been so fearful in case the same happened again - the events had had public as well as private implications for the family.

My piece is my imagining how Sarah must have felt through those times of grief, shame and sadness; she must have felt demorialised and perhaps resentful, wondering how and where this would all end. Yet there is a small glimmer of anxious hope when she sees Tobias arrive...
TFL!
Bernie x


Monday, 24 April 2017

A New Beginning...?

With this piece came the firm conviction of my Faith Art path moving forwards. It will mean revamping my Artboja site and stepping up and showing my light well and truly to the world! I'm ready!

Title: No Longer Loved?

This was inspired somewhat subconsciously by readings I am ploughing through at present! One is by Jane Williams, Approaching Easter, the other, by Brother Ramon and Simon Barrington-Ward, Praying the Jesus Prayer Together. I hadn't even realised when I read the individual chapters in each stage of each book, but they were actually saying the same things!

Often, our view of love is all about feelings and sentiment, and when we feel we are no longer loved, we look for things to make us feel that emotional need. We want that feeling of excitement.

But the love God has for us is more than that. John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."

God's love for us is this wish to see us completely fulfilled, walking with him and with others, and so drawing in others to this family of believers. A family of people who know they are so special to God.

When we feel so loved, we can help others realise they too are so loved. As we come to know that love, we long to become what we truly are and to take that into the world, to others. Taking God's light into the darkness.

In my piece, the woman feels she is no longer loved. Reminiscent of Jesus and his crown of thorns, placed upon him by others, she wears a 'veil' of hard, scratchy twigs and leaves that seem to signify her unworthiness, as placed upon her by others and felt deeply.

Yet dotted within those twigs are little white flowers - little beacons of light. Perhaps all is not lost after all?

Although there seems so much darkness around her, a darkness that contains hard, painful thoughts, feelings and emotions, a darkness that surrounds and envelops her, touching her very body, there is also light. That light also touches her, heals, and gives hope for the future. She realises that although she may suffer now, this will pass and she will be made whole again by His love.
TFL!
Bernie x

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Lent 2017 - Day 37

6th April 2017

Forgot to upload this one on the day! Based on that day's reading: Psalm 121, it's called Look to the Mountains.

I didn't have a particular end image in mind when I created this. There are 6 photos involved in making up this piece, as well as lots of brushwork and textures! I really enjoyed myself working on this!
TFL!
Bernie x


Monday, 3 April 2017

Lent 2017 - Day 26

Sunday 26th March

In light of recent events, this has taken a while to finish! For those who don't know, on 25th March my eldest daughter (20) was driving her little car when a man smashed into her, probably speeding. Her car spun around and then smashed into roadside barrier railings.

Then, as if that were not bad enough, while she was sitting in the car in the immediate aftermath, in shock, a man came up, said he was there to help her, but stole her handbag.

Then, another man in a high viz jacket came up, she thought him a paramedic. He was getting her to move her arms and all sorts in case she had cracked ribs. The ambulance crew who arrived saw him and told her he was NOT a real paramedic and the badge that real crew have had been cut out of the jacket.

Thankfully she had no serious injuries or what he had been doing could have had really serious consequences for her. She actually walked away with severe bruising from the seatbelt and a stiff neck and shoulder that the paramedics were sure was muscular rather than anything more serious.

She was kept in the ambulance for an hour and a half as her blood pressure was so high but was then able to come home rather than go to hospital.

She really had a guardian Angel looking after her that day!

Her little car, which she and her bf saved up for all by themselves, as well as saving a year's worth of insurance, is gone forever to the scrapyard in the sky :(

She was so upset about her handbag being stolen, though! there was nothing of financial value in it but it had all the paperwork and studying she had been doing for weeks as she's in line for a promotion at work once it's completed!

So the next morning, my youngest daughter and I went out searching close to the scene of the accident, as Police had said the bag would most likely be dumped once they realised there was no money or valuables in it. Within 10 minutes I found it! All her paperwork was in there - the only thing the thief took was her (prescribed) medication! He was stupid enough to take the blister pack out of the cardboard packaging though so the Police came and dusted her books for prints and took the packaging away to test in the Lab.

Within 24 hours or so the Police had caught the thief and rang my daughter to take her statement. He is clearly seen on CCTV apparently taking the bag and handing it to another man, all the while talking to my daughter and pretending that he was there to help her. The Police are so disgusted by what he did they are determined to get him sent to prison for what he did.

So it's been rather a nightmare of a week, whilst being so thankful that her injuries were as minimal as they were when you think what could have happened.

On 1st April I celebrated my 50th Birthday :) and having us all together was wonderful!

She's still struggling but has gone back to work and trying to press on.

This piece is based on v.8 of psalm 62: "Trust in God at all times, my people, tell him your troubles, for he is our refuge." This was the reading in my Lent book for the day after her accident happened.
TFL!
Bernie x


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Lent 2017 - 21st March

Tuesday 21st March

One of my readings for 21st was Luke 15:1-7. The first two verses say:
One day when many tax collectors and other outcasts came to listen to Jesus, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law started grumbling, "This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!"

Those words, about Jesus welcoming outcasts and 'even' eating with them really struck home. There is so much talk currently within the RCC Church about whether or not certain people should be allowed to receive Communion, but this seems to simply say all that is needed!

Those outcasts turned up to listen to Jesus and to eat with him, and he spoke to them and received them and ate with them. He knew what was in their hearts when no mere human could possibly know that. So what's so different nowadays? Would Jesus really want to be prevented from reaching people through the receiving of Communion when the people perceived by mere men as sinners too bad to even sit at table, the modern day 'outcasts,' have made the effort to turn up and listen and eat?

I'm sure though that my feelings are way too simple and there are 'wonderful' theological reasons why all sorts of people should be prevented from receiving Holy Communion! Hopefully, those responsible for that - those men who know the hearts of others so intimately - will be able to explain their reasoning satisfactorily when their time comes.

So my piece is showing one of those 'outcasts' - but she has taken the first step! She has turned up, is listening. The little glimpses of light signify the hope she has and the love or her that God has - I hope they show up on FB as it often darkens images it seems!
TFL!
Bernie x