Updated: Nov 20, 2020
As I was painting Christ, I wanted to look into His eyes, but I hesitated because that meant He would see me too. I didn't want Him to see my flaws and mistakes when I looked at Him. I have always thought I would overcome my mistakes and present a pure soul to God after this life. However, I was wrong in thinking I could hide anything from Him, for it is Christ who suffered for those mistakes and He knows every intimate detail. Then the thought occurred to me that I caused part of His suffering in Gethsemane and my heart dropped. Could I ever look Him in the face? With great sorrow and humility, I decided to lay my heart and soul before Him because I desired to change and make right the wrongs I had done in my life. As I prayed to see my Savior's face, and as I turned to Him, I saw eyes that looked into the depths of my soul that were full of love and understanding. There was no anger, and no resentment for the pain I caused. He saw every part of me and He loved me anyway. Forgiveness came immediately. The process of healing began, but it was not over instantly. Each day I turned to Him for help I could feel my Savior working to heal a part of me. I learned that He takes His time and makes sure there are no pieces left undone/unhealed. This is how He makes us complete again. Although I have already experienced great forgiveness and healing, I am still going through this process. Maybe the process never ends in this life. I know now, though, that whenever I am ready to turn to my Savior for help, He is ready to greet me with the face and eyes of love I saw when I painted Him. He is always there, I just need to make the choice to turn to Him.
About the Details:
The reflection of the Apostle’s boats in the Savior's eyes comes from Him seeing each of us as “Fishers of Man” as we “Gather Israel”. When He looks at us, He sees disciples with unlimited potential. The dark circles around His eyes show the toll each of our trials and mistakes have had on Him, as He has gone through each of them with us. He is tired- but never tires of helping us, or being there for us. He is the “Living Water” for all man, yet His lips are dry. After giving all of himself, He waits with parched lips, hoping for us to share the nourishment He is, for the body and soul, with others. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) The tears in His eyes are tears of joy for us who chose to turn to Him. We may be tired. We may feel beaten down. The example that Christ gives to all of us, is to love and serve others anyway; stand by everyone in their times of need; cheer one another on and support each other in order to triumph over trials. It is my hope to be the light, the love, and the disciple that our Savior sees.
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*These paintings were made with oil paint and venetian plaster on wood panels.