Far be it from me to boast in anything but the goodness of the Lord.
This is testimony as Glory to the Most High God.
Several years ago I was deeply saddened to learn my distant neighbors had suffered the loss of their four-year-old little girl. The child had wandered away from her mother’s awareness as she was weeding in the garden. She had slipped into the pool and left this world quietly. Her parents were devastated and in torment. I, who was crazy busy with work and studies, never planned to be involved in this tragic event. I was, however, deeply affected. My friend who was their neighbor suggested that I meet with the grieving mother and do a portrait of their child.
I had no interest in drawing such a portrait. I did not know the child or the parents. I ended up (in spite of REALLY not wanting to) meeting the poor mother. My heart broke for this grieved woman and her family. I left with a tiny photo of the girl and a weak willingness to try my hand at a portrait. I was pulled back and forth – “God, why me? I cannot do honor to this precious one”. After a week of torment over this, I pulled out the illustration board, my pencils and my timer. I beseeched God and said, “I am putting out a fleece. I will set my timer for 30 minutes and draw. If you want me to do this I will. But show me something because I don’t think I’m the one for this job.”
In 30 minutes the entire layout was drawn and the likeness of the girl was forming. I relented, “Okay, then guide me”. The drawing steadily developed by my hand. Many things showed up as I drew. I suspended judgment and followed the leading of the Holy Spirit as I thought I heard. Still, I wondered about the usefulness of one so reluctant as me.
I finished it, framed it and called the parents to give it to them. Their reaction pretty much floored me.
The mother asked if I was a psychic, to which I replied, “I am not, only an artist, and a somewhat reluctant and unsure one at that.
This I DO know, God cares for you”.
Here are the things that they saw, that I had no prior knowledge of.
1. They did not own a picture of the child smiling or laughing because she was so quick and active. She was not smiling in the picture that I was given.
2. She loved birds and watched the birds from the breakfast table that looked out onto the feeder. Northern Flickers abounded there.
3. She loved sunflowers and with her mother’s guidance had planted a couple by the feeder to watch the birds eat their seeds. This gave her great delight.
4. She loved to sing and sang all the time.
5. Her older sister had been upset that her favorite picture of her baby sister had not been shown to me as a reference for the possible drawing. Her favorite picture showed the little girl with a white flower tucked behind her left ear.
I knew none of this. However God knew every single detail. Exactly what He said to these parents, I cannot say. That they mattered GREATLY to Him was obvious. Some questions will not be answered here in this world. How people survive these losses is unfathomable to me. It was clearly His hand that plucked me out of a busy self-centered routine to be a part of speaking His heart to these bereaved parents. Apparently the art brought them great comfort. It was a faith building experience. I am humbled to have had a hand in their recovery. I am still awed by the whole experience. God’s ways are high and He moves in mysterious ways beyond our capacity to understand.
Graphite on illustration board 15 × 20″
post processed with a sepia filter