Look higher

 

Nature uses human imagination to lift her work of creation to even higher levels.

– Luigi Pirandello

0710151133-1Acrylic painting and ink on paper and canvas.

Studio Afternoon

How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?

– Dr. Seuss

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The Power of His Presence in the midst of suffering

Yesterday, a man approached me in a High Point University t- shirt. In the brief of our conversation he asks me about my salvation in Christ and tells me he gave His life to Christ four years ago. He tells me about his sick wife and how when he gets odd jobs he has enough money to get them a room for a few nights. Then its back on the streets.  At one point in the conversation he says “but instead of speaking what I don’t have I thank God for what I do have. It’s hard to believe but there are some way worst off that me.”

This conversation made me think about the book, Why Suffering by Raavi Zacharias and Vince Vitale that I started reading last weekend as we headed to a family reunion. Our family reunion was at an all American icon here in North Carolina, Bills Barbecue! A southern foodie must try if you are in the area!

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The events of the reunion were similar  to ones in the past. We arrive, check in, say hellos, and give thanks for the food. Then most people gorge on foods that are rarely eaten everyday at home. As my 9 year old nephew put it “Its a family reunion, its all you can eat.” This is the same one who put down at least two plates of food several drinks and visited the dessert table at least 3 or 4 times!

What made this reunion different? I had the honor of sitting beside my aunt who is wheelchair bound due to multiple strokes. She wears a one false leg. Her arms and fingers are curled up permanently to her chest. There is a balled up bath cloth in each hand. She needs help doing mostly everything. Although her skin still looks smooth as of her youth, her face is gaunt and restricted in some places due to the losses from the stroke. Her speech is also garbled and at times completely unclear. My other nephew would look, stair, and at one time pointed. I believe he wanted  to know the story behind the image. And like always, we polite southern people are taught to smile and nod like all is well. But I thought No! If he wants to know her story he should.

I feel like culturally we to often pretend that there is not a big butt in the room. More times if we are real it may take the weird or uncomfortable out of it. I do understand that most times one doesn’t want to offend or hurt feelings and so we stay on the surface. I wonder if by going deeper, or just childlike honesty would people treat persons like my aunt with more humanity.

How often or eager are we to be around unusual or even down right ugly things? Things that do not fit into our image of normal? Its easier to pretend the ugly, suffering, sorrow doesn’t exist. From my own sufferings, though nothing compared to what I just mentioned, I understand the distance. The miss understandings. The rejection. The loneliness. Many do not want to be around ugly things. Its inconvenient, we are self preserving people. Others want to help, but often try to solve problems for you that you didn’t ask to be solved. Many people suffering just like to know you are with them. There is great power in presence!

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As I sat beside my aunt I wanted to do something to bless her. To stand with her in love. People would come by, hug her, kiss her face, hand her money. These were the hands and feet of Jesus. I love how generous and humble our family is! They are the power of His presence in the midst of suffering.

The Power of Presence!

Many have stood with me and loved me when I thought I was broken and useless. In the first chapter of  Why Suffering  Zacharias says ” Ideas cannot bring lasting meaning, comfort, or hope. Only a person can.” Jesus and the relationship with Him is that.wpid-0704151659a.jpg

This could not have been expressed any better than during the entertainment hour. Hip hop was played. Dancers danced. My aunt sat quietly recovering from her big meal. It was only when one woman started singing old gospel song about God’s goodness and going home that the tears started to flow from my aunts eyes. Her husband wiped one side. I wiped the other. The songs continue. The tears continued. I, knowing the comfort of Jesus in the midst of complete darkness fought back my own tears as I thought of her everyday condition. Where these tears of joy that she is alive? I wondered if she still thinks about who she use to be. I wonder if she feels trapped in this injured body. Or she could have been crying for some other reason! But I do know that  only Christ truly knows her and her husband’s suffering, the loss, the mourning over her losses. No one else can get that deep with you and yours but Him!

He is the all comfort. All Peace, All Joy. Only trusting in Him can allow you to worship when there seems to be no hope at all. I must say some of my sweetest nearest times with Jesus have been when all was lost and He was the only thing I had to cling to.

And this is why we need creatives, to sing of His goodness, to paint of it, to write of it, to record it in every season of our lives. So that they may know of a hope and anchor beyond these shores. Join Me on this journey.

Yours with LOVE,

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Krystal J. F. Hart

 

 

Chasm

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Chasm is about exploring the great difference in worlds using visual symbols of the world as we know it. The physical and the spiritual. Christ was the rock that created the chasm in earth. We are earth. Because of this great and violent divide we now have access to the heavens.

The veil was torn and now we can walk with God.

Art areates the earth. Only them may our parched souls receive the fresh rains from heaven. Join us on this incredible journey to regenerate culture, life, and beauty through art.

-Krystal J F Hart

Where Do We Go From Here?

I seek the divine in such darkness.
Where is the fair fight when the lights go out?
I scream and shout. I scream and shout. Much to no avail.
It seems that hell has seized that land, and no one understands me anymore.
Who has turned out the lights?!
I fight and fight to regain normalcy.
Embodied in the present past of traumatic events.
Will I move forward, or linger in the ashes of that which has been lost forever?
-Krystal J. F. Hart

Where Do We Go From Here was created with acrylics, inks, and an image transfer technique. I think of all that has been lost and ravaged by war and violence. I think of my own suffering and lost through my own traumatic experience. We are all but children aren’t we? I think of  “the children of Cain. Child leftovers from the fratricidal violence he symbolized.” -excerpt from Dr. Frank Wood.  The poem above can be seen interlaced through out the sky in the painting. When your storm is raging always remember, but there is still hope in utter darkness!

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Painting : mixed media on stretched canvas.

Krystal J. F. Hart