Monday, June 4, 2012

The Lighthouse

Last year (2010) I began to paint a picture of the Grand Haven Lighthouse and pier as seen from the north beach. I intended to finish the painting this summer since it was missing the cat-walk. Off and on I’d look at pictures, or go out to the lighthouse and observe the structure so I’d be more inspired to recreate it on canvas. Last week I decided it was time to complete my artwork. I gathered up my brushes and paints, taking the portrait off the wall and removing it from the frame. My daughter, Marie insisted that the painting was already perfect. I said, “Anyone looking at it will see right away that it’s missing the cat-walk.” I was very concerned what people would think! Squirting a little steel grey and black paint into a small plastic bowl, I mixed them, leaving a little of the grey and black at the edges for shade and highlights. I began to make fine lines and brush strokes. The smaller ones were at the end of the pier and I made them larger and larger as they got closer to the lighthouse. I soon realized that I was making a mess! All I could see was black, ugly lines all over my artwork! I was becoming sick with dismay. How could I undo this? How?! I ran to the sink and grabbed some paper towels. I soaked them and applied the water expecting that my art would be completely ruined. I continued to rub away the blackness and little by little, I saw my picture emerge. There is was! The lighthouse after the storm, just as I’d painted it! The next day I learned that the cat-walk was added to the lighthouse in 1922, so I re-dated my painting and put it in the frame. Now it is a portrait of the lighthouse circa 1919. Last week at this time I thought I was in a muddle that I could never undo. Today, it is beautiful again. There is hope! Is your life a mess? Is there a situation that you think you can never make right? Do you see nothing but black? You can have a change of heart and want to do better for yourself and treat others with kindness. You can choose from this time forward to wash away the darkness from your heart. The Lord Jesus Christ, the artist of our creation, is reaching out to us. We can think that the blackness that we’ve put in our lives, the ink that others have painted us with can never be undone. The truth is, we can be baptized and cleanse away the sin that is darkening our souls. The son of God lived and died for us, His artwork. If we can see we’ve done wrong, we can pray for guidance. Next we have a change in attitude. Then we are able to wash away the dirt of the world. This process is called “repentance”. Now is the time to get the paper towels out and run to the “kitchen sink” to get baptized. Today is the day to reach out to the greatest artist that ever existed and let His teachings guide us like the lighthouse on the pier, to the harbor of our Heavenly Home.

A Sideshow Journey by Liesa Swejkoski

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