Today, I want to share with you a painting which was inspired by the idea of ‘Freedom’. I’ve been working on it the last few weeks, and I’ve been learning a lot about Freedom. I’ve been learning about Financial Freedom in my Financial Peace University class and, as we’ve been preparing for the Nefarious screenings and for Freedom Week this week, I’ve been learning and praying more about the injustice of human trafficking. I’ve also been thinking about freedom in every sense of the word.
There’s emotional freedom, physical freedom, legal freedom, intellectual freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of the spoken word, and all other sorts of freedom. What the painting represents specifically is the freedom Jesus gives in Isaiah 61.
If you take a hard glance at the picture, you may be able to see that it’s two paintings in one. The first time I painted this, I let it dry. The first painting included only the blackened corners, brown background, and the maroon box with a yellow circle beneath 4 silver lines. This first picture represented a person taken captive, specifically another unknown face in a brothel. The silver lines were prison bars. The yellow circle was an expressionless, unknown face. The picture was dark, gloomy, and gave a deep sense of isolation.
This was the essence and feel of the first painting, but I knew the painting wasn’t done, yet, and that I wanted to add to it. This last week, I added to it by painting the promises God gives those who are captive. In Isaiah 61, Jesus says He was anointed to bind up the brokenhearted and to proclaim liberty to the captives. He came to comfort those who mourn and to proclaim that He’s coming back as the Just Judge, when He will take vengeance against those who have rejected Him. He promised that He will give those whom He frees a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness.
Do you see how He changes depravity, hopelessness, and captivity to justice, joy, and a praise-filled spirit? He changes us! He changes us and He changes the situations of people who have been held captive. HE CAME TO SET PEOPLE FREE! Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Christ came that we may STAND in freedom!
I like that it says STAND firm. Not sit. Not stay. Not half in-half out. STAND firm. STAND in freedom.
Christ came to preach good news to the poor, the brokenhearted, the captive, and those who are bound in prison. AND He promises that these people will become oaks of righteousness. This is why the tree is there, stemming from what used to be a symbol of bondage. It is now a strong oak tree trunk, standing firm, with roots growing deep and drinking from streams of Living Water. The purple headdress signifies royalty, which God states we are, as Believers. The 7 purple dots represent wholeness, because God uses the number 7 as a sign of completion. The sun or happy face – however you see it – represents the oil of gladness instead of mourning. A face that used to be lost, broken, and unknown now is representing gladness. The oil of gladness speaks to me about how the power of the Holy Spirit gives us gladness (joy is a fruit of the Spirit – AMEN!). The white rectangle is symbolic of a door, because God sets the captives free! That sunshine/face is no longer held captive to that little, maroon room. It can walk out the door! 🙂 The reddish (you might not be able to see the color too well from the picture) flowery vine represents Jesus’ blood on the doorposts (Old Testament). It signifies justification, because those whom Jesus sets free are free indeed. (John 8:36)
If you look at this and see only the second picture, that’s great; because that’s how our Father sees us! He sees us as righteous! Romans 8:10 says, “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”