The image shown here is a piece I created for a collection of works about the parable of the Prodigal Son. It is titled “Embrace”. Here are my thoughts as I worked through this painting….
…the first word that comes to mind when I think of the Prodigal Son is ‘embrace.’ For it is in the act of finally embracing each other that forgiveness is at last given and received. Receiving forgiveness is a choice to fall at the Father’s feet in total submission and completely trust Him to know what’s best and yield at last to His embrace.
The vision that the Lord gave me for this is seen in the many layers of darker textures around the edges of the painting representing struggle and brokenness – with light and softness in the center as a place of sanctuary and peace. The sons are seen entering into this place of forgiveness, returning to the Father and choosing to leave their fears, guilt, and shame behind.
The calligraphic marks or prayer language which are usually very evident in my paintings are still here. They are woven among the many layers – just as I’m sure the Father must have saturated his sons in prayer even, and especially, as they struggled.
The overall color in the work is a shade of purple, which is the color of royalty for as children of God, we are joint-heirs with Christ. We sometimes forget our identity, in our brokenness, but that doesn’t change who we are; and the Father always welcomes us back with open arms, just as we are, and covers us again in royal robes.
I see trees in this painting. I often see trees in my work. They are symbolic of growth and change. In this piece there is a broken tree in the foreground – fallen to the ground – another symbol of brokenness, sorrow and defeat.
The larger entity is of course, the Father. He has beautiful shimmers of gold and purple flowing through him. He is filled with light. He is light.
The three entities, father and sons, are caught up in relationship – a dance, if you will – of life and love. There is tension, and communion…as in this life…all woven together…we won’t know complete and pure peace until we at last see the Father face to face.
Despite the darkness, there is an overall radiance and glow from within that shines through even the darkest dark. We are never without hope. God is always near and ready to embrace us, when at last, we yield to His love and grace.