Empty Canvas

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“Empty canvas waits before the Painter, waits to be the painting it must be.  Unto this end it has rightly been created to reflect rightly what the Painter sees.  A beauty that will surely find its life within its dying so another might be born again.  And in this constant death a constant beauty is created within a constant love that never ends. Jesus is the Master Painter.  And the Holy Spirit is the Master’s brush to be dipped within the colors that portray the Father’s love, that the canvas of our life might know the Master’s touch, to portray the beauty of the Master’s brush.  So an empty canvas waits before the Painter, empty canvas destined to be hung within the gallery once it has been created.  Will the canvas bear the beauty of the Son?”  (“Empty Canvas”, song lyrics by John Michael Talbot and Terry Talbot)

My painting- Bird of Paradise

These two songs have spoken to my soul ever since I was a child.  They talk about my personal relationship with God.   There is a part of my soul which is normally quiet and closed, when I paint, that part of me comes alive and opens to the Lord.  My soul feels very exposed and naked, very raw and real.  For me, Art is very spiritual and very intimate.  For this reason, I like to be alone when I paint.  These lyrics are some of the things I think about when I paint.  I believe that God made me this way for a reason, to relate to my Creator. 

So paint my life with you Charity,

Paint my life with your Mercy

Paint my life with your Humility

And I’ll share in your Glory, Jesus

Paint my life, Jesus

Paint my life

Color your brush with your Kindness

Color your brush with your Meekness

Color your brush with your Gentleness

Color your brush with your Forgiveness, Jesus

Paint my life, Jesus

Paint my life, Jesus.

~”Paint My Life”

By John Michael Talbot and Terry Talbot

About amamiot

My family and I are missionaries in Costa Rica. Before that we lived in Mexico and before that we came from Minnesota. I am a teacher, an artist, a "journaler", a quilter, a cooker, a baker, a hostess, a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend. I like reading and watching movies (ehem, and quoting movie lines). I would love to be in a Jane Austin movie but I don't know how to ballroom dance or play Whist.

6 responses »

  1. Pingback: Waiting for a Blaze of Usefulness « Monkeys in My Bag

  2. Pingback: Waiting for a Blaze of Usefulness | lacwriters

  3. Hello from Roswell, NM! I resonate with the meaning of Talbot’s songs as they celebrate the unflagging joy of the Creator Artist who desires all mankind to be painted with the hues of His Son. Merry Christmas!

  4. Many moons ago, when ‘The Painter’ was released as an LP, I remember being struck by the album’s majestic design layout. Alas, back in those days I was a hardcore rocker, and thus I failed to appreciate the artistic genius of John Michael and brother Terry.
    Well. That was then and this is now. And now, lo & behold, I have divested myself of a great deal of music that I would have hitherto considered indispensable. At the same time, I have rediscovered the musical and lyrical depth of recording artists that I had parked on the backburner of my mind…..
    Artists such as the 2nd Chapter of Acts, Michael and Stormie Omartian, Kemper Crabb and – wait for it – John Michael and Terry Talbot.
    After much sleuthing, I managed to track down a CD of ‘The Painter’ – from John Michael himself! And as I listen and relisten to this magnificent work of art, I catch myself over and over again saying: “Where in the heck was my head back then? This is BRILLIANT!”
    And indeed it is, Amamiot. Many a formulaic contemporary Christian music project has come and gone, but ‘The Painter’ remains a wholly authentic, one-of-a-kind tribute to songwriting excellence. I am currently attempting to memorize each of the songs on the album, so that I can sing them back to the Master, not only as praise anthems, but whenever I am bedeviled by the hobgoblins of darkness.
    Your painting ‘Bird of Paradise’ is also a fine example of artistic excellence. I love how you have ‘popped’ the primary colours of blue, red and green, and yet you have cleverly infused shades of yellow and black into the mix as well. Your artwork showcases just the right amount of realism in it; I’m able to make the visceral connection to your caption. At the same time, your skillful brushstrokes convey a delightful touch of impressionism, too, and beckon me to fire up my imagination to ‘fill in the blanks.’
    And there is this, too: There is a deeper meaning to your post, one which has not been lost on me, Amamiot:
    The messages of ‘the painting’ and ‘The Painter’ dovetail beautifully.

    PhiL {‘•_•’}

  5. The Gallery of Grace
    I was thinking of my image on canvas. Pretty detailed. Permanent. Or, so I thought.
     
    It was almost as if I was looking in a mirror. You get to know that face.
     
    Then, I was thinking about the promises of God that He is going to transform me into His image. Talk about an immediate faith crisis!
     
    It’s not like I shouldn’t believe God. I have seen how He has changed me…and others through the testimonies of thousands whose stories I have either read or heard.
     
    I had another image. It was as if God was erasing my canvas. The old picture was being rubbed off by the very hand of God.
     
    My portal of heaven through this vision was simply that God has to take away that which we are of ourselves in order to paint the portrait of Jesus on that canvas. It’s mystical. It’s bewildering. Knowing so intimately my face in the mirror, it’s really annoyingly unbelievable.
     
    But it’s still a promise.
     
    “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord…Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 John 3:2

    Comments Encouraged: journalwithGod@gmail.com

    From Our Mailbag:

    On The Face of Christ
    Being In The Face of Others
    That’s what we’re here for!
    Gary Halbedel, Delmar, NY

    Great word Bob on the necessity and the gift of small community!
    On Sore Eyes & The Face of God
    We see in a mirror darkly but one day we shall see him face-to-face! What a day that will be indeed!
    Frank Wray, Delmar, NY

    • A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Robert!
      Your musings have stopped me in my tracks.

      “I was thinking about the promises of God that He is going to transform me into His image. Talk about an immediate faith crisis!
      “It’s not like I shouldn’t believe God. I have seen how He has changed me…and others through the testimonies of thousands whose stories I have either read or heard.”

      Indeed, good sir.
      Here I am, still giving in to the temptation to nurse my wounded pride.
      I continue to feel like a tumbleweed blowing across the prairie.
      “He is going to transform ME into HIS image”?
      I concede to you that this sounds like a pipedream.
      But then it occurs to me that this is exactly what the enemy of our souls wants me to think.

      “I had another image. It was as if God was erasing my canvas. The old picture was being rubbed off by the very hand of God.
      “My portal of heaven through this vision was simply that God has to take away that which we are of ourselves in order to paint the portrait of Jesus on that canvas. It’s mystical. It’s bewildering. Knowing so intimately my face in the mirror, it’s really annoyingly unbelievable.”

      That is what seems to be currently happening to me, Robert, most markedly since my decision to retire from active duty as a Canada Post letter carrier.
      Ever since I purposed in my heart to take God seriously, I have divested myself of so many things that I once thought were indispensable.
      All my fake foundations are tumbling down; like you so eloquently observe, it is as if God is erasing my canvas.
      Dr. Eugene Peterson notes that “living in a world where God call[s] all the shots – ha[s] the first word on everything; ha[s] the last word on everything…..everything, quite literally every thing, ha[s] to be re-centered, re-imagined, and re-thought.”
      But what’s my alternative, Robert?
      To revert back to ‘old Phil,’ and attempt to pick my way through the minefield of this fallen world on my own?
      As Peter so duly responds to Jesus: “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life.”
      Once thing is certain, Robert:
      When dear souls like yourself drop your guard and write posts like yours above, I realize that I am not alone in experiencing these all-consuming sensations.
      And for that, I salute you.
      Appreciatively,
      PhiL {‘•_•’}

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