Canvas two - close up to the mustard seeds.

Canvas two – close up to the mustard seeds.

I had a great day yesterday in the shed. One of the talks I listened to from the Birmingham Vineyard (on the listen again section on their website) on Nehemiah spoke of the breath of God bringing the seeds of the city to life, bringing renewal and revival. I wanted to capture the breath of God in my piece. In another piece of artwork I used wisps of lambs’ wool to capture the sense of Holy Spirit over the waters of darkness at the beginning of time, and I felt it would be appropriate to use the same material, Jesus being┬áreferred to as the Lamb of God. I felt the wisps of Holy Spirit should come from the direction of the Birmingham Vineyard symbol, so from the left hand corner the wool has been placed, reaching towards the seeds, a symbol of Holy Spirit surrounding them, nurturing them, encouraging them to grow to become what God intended them to be.

The second development was the fourth canvas and if I’m being totally honest, this one has been the piece I couldn’t visualise…. that is until a few nights ago. I was struggling with how to combine the leadership part with the nations part but I knew the cross was the central to this. Jesus said that those who want to become the greatest must become the servant of all; His washing of the feet, His humility when being beaten, His immense leadership through His mercy and grace. The cross is key and a symbol understood by all nations. But the canvas needed more both compositionally and aesthetically.

Anna Crook - vertical white strip

Canvas four with the vertical white strip.

I asked my daughter recently what she wanted to do when she was older. In this order she said to be a shop keeper, to build wells in Africa to give them clean water, to be a vet and maybe a teacher. This got me thinking: If God has already given her heart and an understanding of the importance of clean water at this young age, how would she draw her heart for investing in other nations? She drew me a well and a toilet, and although she is sadly now coming out of that beautiful age of innocent impulsive drawing, it was still simple and beautiful. ┬áI drew upon drawings by other children of seeds being planted, bikes, trees growing and schools and houses. Using a child like drawing form, using my wrong hand and using the children’s drawing as guides I drew into a vertical strip on the cross all those images which are the basic needs and hopes for other nations from toilets to kisses. I next want to weather it so it looks like stone.

When my boy saw what I’d done he said “but you’ve lost the cross,” so I plan to pull that back by extending the red thread across the new white strip and down one of the sides of the vertical sides. It’s great how my kids are keeping me on my toes!! The breath of God’s encouragement comes in many beautiful forms.