Monday, November 3, 2008

An Amazing Gift From God

In Greek Mythology, Pandora's Box is a large jar carried by Pandora that contained evils to be unleashed on mankind - ills, toils and sickness - and finally hope.

Little did we know several years ago when we decided to grow our family that we were embarking on a journey of pandoric proportions - one of ills, toils, sickness - and finally hope.

Some great friends of our family - who have traveled a similar yet unique path - gave us a gift that so accurately sums up our experience. Take a look at the painting below and then read some of the artists inspiration and explanation below it.

Thank you Alysia. Your gift from God is amazing. We will cherish this forever...

These are the words of the artist - Alysia - on her inspiration for this gift.

Before I express the spiritual translation of the painting I'd like to preface it with these two quotes from one of the ones that have gone before us and left a beautiful stirring of dust from the dirt at the foot of the cross. Amy Carmichael's words are like the dust of the cross being stirred up and settled upon our feet... may we leave the same for those that come after us!

"If I wonder why something trying is allowed, and press for prayer that it may be removed; if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment, and cannot go on in peace under any mystery, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If I ask to be delivered from trial rather than for deliverance out of it, to the praise of His glory; if I forget that the way of the cross leads to the cross and not to a bank of flowers; if I regulate my life on these lines, or even unconsciously my thinking, so that I am surprised when the way is rough and think it strange, though the word is, "Think it not strange, count it all joy" then I know nothing of Calvary love."
God needs complete and absolute credit and glory for this piece. I sketched the woman and hit the biggest wall of artists block I have even known once her figure was done. I could think of no background, purpose, or object to add to this floating figure. For months she sat there incomplete.

One day I was praying for you both and asking God what we were supossed to give you for a gift. Suddenly the entire image of this woman and the whole painting was etched in my mind. I saw the whole thing in direct answer to my prayer. I had not known it initially, but the painting was never intended for me! I walked over and the whole thing was sketched within 10 minutes! This is really God's gift for you and I was just honored to be an earthly part of it!

Your journey has had trial and you have been able to be trusted by our Lord with disappointment. You have been able to move forward with the mystery in peace and press on in prayer for His will and His glory. You've allowed yourselves to be brought to the cross and the heart of Christ for His world and His children. You have counted it all joy to let Him have His way in and through you... and you know Calvary love...

You walked through the valley of infertility, you labored through the adoption process in not one, but 2 countries and experienced the loss of a son you held in your heart even deeper than you could have held him in your arms - for you held him with the arms of Christ.

The valley in the picture represents what you walked through. There was suffering, trial, and loss but the Lord had a plan to bring you out of that valley equipped and prepared to walk again with him forward on the road.

Now you stand at a tree which symbolizes a tree of life. As Christ gave life through His death so He gives us life through our losses on earth. The tree is full of buds - all symbolizing the untold fruits he has prepared for your hearts and lives and those that go after you as a result of His work and glory.

The one white bloom is Meron - in all her amazing beauty... she is the work and the hand of God. The pregnant woman represents the heart God gave you both for Africa, and children across the globe who are awaiting the love of the Lord. This was put into the womb of your hearts and God has birthed love through you both.

The purple robe expresses the righteousness and royalty you have in the Lord, and how God covers your family with his fatherhood and Lordship over you.

I hope it ministers to you and anyone else who sees it. My prayer is that it would turn hearts to the cross and what the love of the cross looks like. I also pray that it would be a sweet testimony to your children as each one blooms into your lives!


emily said...

What an amazing gift! I have been blessed to witness your faith along this journey. Thank you for walking with us as well.

Beverly said...


Michael said...

What an amazing and thoughtful gift. We too have been so touched to have watched your journey. It has been a great joy to see the wonderful love of God be manifested in both of you through the valley and into the light of day.

May God keep all of you in the palm of his hands throughout the rest of your journey in this life.


Mark, Rebecca and Sophia said...

This is so beautiful. A perfect representation of your amazing journey. Thanks for sharing the artwork and the story behind it.